Predatory Shield Bug

Doing a bit of a Garden Guest round-up I noticed this Shield Bug - who apparently was in the process of laying the next generation. It's a predatory insect and one that is most useful to gardeners who would prefer to use less insecticides [and that really should be all gardeners eh?].

Oechalia schellenbergii [?] with eggs

What I found really interesting was that this insect moved to actively shield her young from my gaze. Placing her body over the eggs and angling it as I changed position. I had always assumed the name 'Shield' bug referred to the shape of the insects body, now I wonder if this behaviour also had something to do with the common name - but then it could be just a happy coincidence.

Note: the eggs are completely hidden from view

Continuously protecting young after hatching

It's always gratifying to see native wildlife, of any shape size or variety, thriving and I feel a bit privileged when I get to observe the little miracles in our garden - if nature had a 'like' button, I'd be clicking the hell out of it right now ...

Shield Bugs are sometimes called Stink Bugs as they discharge a liquid that has a strong chemical smell [it probably doesn't taste to good either], in defence against predators. It even seems to dissuade Cane Toads ... sometimes.

You can find a variety of shield bugs in your garden by looking on shrubs and other plants. Look for leaves that overlap and keep a close eye on the stalks and twigs as these are often favoured haunts of these fascinating little insects.

... take care :)

Comments

  1. Great observation. I have never noticed this with this bug.
    D

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    Replies
    1. Hi D - it was a neat little experience ... I didn't mention it, but just a few leaves away I Spotted a second Oechalia with eggs ... tis the season I guess, appreciate the comment.

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