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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

12 October, 2016

Palomena prasina: the common green shieldbug



Although a common insect the common green shieldbug (Palomena prasina) is not often seen. This is a species hidden deep in garden shrubs, hedgerows and woodland where, in summer, its colouring and relatively small size gives it protection from its many predators. 
At first glance you can see immediately why this and its related species are called shieldbugs. Their general shape, formed by its wing cases, is the form of a classic heraldic shield. They are part of the order hemiptera which is the scientific name for bugs and so shieldbug seems the obvious name for them.
The common green shield bug is a bright green with a darker triangular patch to the rear. On close inspection you can see that the wing cases have tiny holes in them. Later in the summer the insect turns a darker colour becoming almost brown before it hibernates for the winter. This change of colour helps it adapt to its surroundings during the winter whilst asleep and so helps to disguise its presence.
Palomena prasina: the common green shieldbug