Creature of the Month – Shield Bug

Order : Hemiptera (True Bugs)
Family : Coreidae
Common Name : Shield Bugs

Pentatomoidea is a superfamily of insects in the Heteroptera suborder of the Hemiptera order and, as such, share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts. They are commonly referred to as shield bugs.  They get their name because when viewed from above, have a distinctive shield-like shape.  Shield bugs have glands in their thorax between the first and second pair of legs which produce a foul smelling liquid. This liquid is used defensively to deter potential predators and is sometimes released when the bugs are handled carelessly.  For this reason, they are also referred to as stink bugs.

Pycanum rubenss is a species of shield bug in the family of Tessaratomidae.  It is probably the most commonly found shield bug in Singapore.   The adult is about 3 cm long and they are usually spotted on Simpoh air (Dillenia suffruticosa), their host plant.

(Adult shield bug)

(Adult Pycanum rubens)

The nymphs look quite different from adults. They are smaller in size and without wings.   The nymphs have 3 colours form ie. light green, orange and red.  I had only seen the red form so far.

(Shield bug nymph, dorsal view)

(Shield bug nymph, dorsal view)

(Another view of shield bug nymph)

Cantao ocellatus s a species of shield bug in the family of Scutelleridae.  They are often found on the native plant, balek angin, Mallotus paniculatus.  I had seen this colourful shield bug twice, at the forest edge of Rifle Range Road and a canal in Jurong Woods.

(Cantao ocellatus)

(Cantao ocellatus)

(Cantao ocellatus, side and front view)

(Cantao ocellatus, side and front view)

Palomena prasina is a green shield bug  belonging to the family of Pentatomidae.  They are uncommon and I had spotted it  only once near a canal in Jurong Woods.

(Green Shield Bug, Palomena prasina)

(Green Shield Bug, Side view)

(Green Shield Bug)

(Green Shield Bug, Dorsal & Frontal Views)

An unknown shield bug with a human face on the back of its shield was spotted at Kranji Nature Trail. Please let me know if you know its ID.

(Unknown Shield Bug)

(Unknown Shield Bug)

Another unknown shield bug photographed in Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia.

(An unknown shield bug taken at Fraser's Hill)

(An unknown shield bug taken at Fraser’s Hill)

1. Wikipedia
2. National University of Singapore’s Publication on Cantao ocellatus

3 thoughts on “Creature of the Month – Shield Bug

  1. Hi! I just spotted that unknown shield bug on my thai basil plant. So exciting to see a bug with a face-like back – reminded me of a scene in The Lion King. Lol.

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