Bronze shieldbug

Bronze shieldbug ©Chris Lawrence

Bronze shieldbug nymph

Bronze shieldbug nymph ©Chris Lawrence

Bronze shieldbug

Scientific name: Troilus luridus
Unlike many of its relatives, this shimmering shieldbug is a predator, feasting on caterpillars and a variety of other insects.

Species information

Statistics

Grows up to 10-12mm in length

When to see

All year

About

Perhaps one of the more difficult species to spot, the bronze shieldbug lives amongst both broadleaf and coniferous trees and is most likely to be found in woodland habitats. Although it feeds on tree sap during its early stages of life, the bronze shieldbug is normally predatory and uses its long proboscis (straw like mouth parts) to feed on a variety of other insects such as caterpillars.

Shieldbugs go through several stages of growth, with the younger stages known as nymphs. Bronze shieldbugs normally reach their adult stage during July, overwinter as adults, then mate the following spring. There is only one generation a year.

How to identify

Growing to sizes of 10-12mm in length, this large shieldbug is mostly brown/bronze with orange stripes around the edges of the abdomen. It can be separated from other species by the plain brown scutellum (the triangular section on its back) and the orange band around the top of the second to last segment of the antennae.

The final nymph stage can have either cream or red markings.

Distribution

Widespread throughout the UK but not common

Did you know?

A study on bronze shieldbugs discovered that males vibrate to create pulses of low-frequency sound, which is believed to be a call to attract nearby females. After the signal was given, the female approached the male and began to feel him with her antennae.

How people can help

Since the 1930s, we have lost almost half of our woodland to intensive agricultural practices and development, resulting in a dramatic loss of habitat for the creatures that live in dead and decaying wood. But you can help our minibeasts: by simply providing a small pile of logs in your garden, you'll make a refuge for everything from shield bugs to wood wasps, and a hunting ground for small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.