The Caucasian Shield Bug (Apodiphus amygdali) is an insect in the Pentatomidae family, subfamily Pentatominae. It is also known as the Stink Bug because it has an unpleasant smell when it is squashed.
The Caucasian Shield Bug is blackish-brown with a trapezoidal shape (the shape of a shield). The shield is called a scutellum. The shield has yellowish speckled markings. Its antennae have five segments (Pentatominae means ‘five segments’). Its greyish-black legs, called tarsi, have three segments. It has forewings (front wings) called hemelytra, and it also has hindwings (back wings). It has a sucking mouthpart.
It measures about 1.5 centimetres (1 inch) long. The female is slightly larger than the male.
The Shield Bug is common worldwide. The species Apodiphus amygdaliis native to Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and Macedonia. The Caucasian Shield Bug is native to the Caucasus region, in countries such as Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and southern Russia. The photographed Shield Bug was found in Georgia.
It is related to the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys), native to China, Japan, Korean peninsula, and Taiwan.
It lives in a wide range of habitats. It is terrestrial, living on the ground.
It feeds on plants, using its sucking and piercing mouthparts that extract the sap (juice) from leaves and branches.
The female Caucasian Shield Bug lays 11-15 eggs on the underside of plant leaves, which hatch after 2-5 days. The eggs hatch into nymphs which suck on leaves as they grow into adults.
Location of photographs: Tbilisi and Telavi, Georgia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM