Spiked Shield Bug

Spiked Shield Bug ©Philip Precey

Spiked Shield Bug

Scientific name: Picromerus bidens
The Spiked Shield Bug has fearsome shoulder projections or 'spikes' and a predatory nature. This brown bug feeds on caterpillars and other insects in woodlands and on heathlands.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1.2-1.3cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to November

About

The Spiked Shield Bug is a very impressive animal with a formidable pair of sharp spines on its shoulders. It is found at woodland edges and on heathland. It is mainly predatory, feeding on other insects, including caterpillars. The adults lay their eggs, which overwinter and hatch in spring; the nymphs moult into adult form in July and August.

How to identify

The Spiked Shield Bug is one of three brown shield bugs with shoulder 'spikes'. It is best identified by its bright red legs and antennae, as well as its very pointed shoulder spikes.

Distribution

Mainly found in England and Wales, but spreading north.

Did you know?

Although they are mainly predatory, adult Spiked Shield Bugs will also suck the sap from plants like other shield bugs.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers, landowners and planners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.