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Predatory Bugs 1: ShieldBugs
Number 10Revised February 1993By Charlma Phillips, Principal Forest Health Scientist
These bugs belong to the family Pentatomidae. They are often called "stink" bugs as somespecies produce a powerful odour when handled. Many shield bugs are pests, for examplethe Green Vegetable Bug,
, but some are predators of other insects.The predatory shield bug most commonly found on eucalypts is
This is a very mobile insect that feeds on a wide range of caterpillars and larvae (immaturestages) of moths, beetles, sawflies and weevils. It is a very BENEFICIAL insect and playsa vital role in the control of many pest insects. For example, it is often seen on grapevineswhere it is important in the control of the Grape Vine Moth,
.Unfortunately, like other beneficial insects, this insect is easily killed by chemical spraysand therefore it is essential that sprays be used in a responsible fashion, preferably as alast resort.
is a medium sized insect, approximately 10-12mm in length. It is a mottled browny/grey in colour and can be easily recognised by thesharp spines on either side of the thorax. Females are larger than males.
The eggs are black with an "eyelash" like fringe around the top.
Immature stages are called nymphs. They are brightly coloured black and redand resemble the adults in shape but do not have spines or wings. They remain black andred, though in changing patterns, throughout the nymphal stages, becoming browny/greyon moulting to the adult stage.