Mottled Shield Bug

The Mottled Shield Bug (Rhaphigaster nebulosi) is an insect in the Pentatomidae family of shield bugs or stink bugs. It is called a Stink Bug because it has an unpleasant smell when it is squashed. Nymphs have stink glands on their back. Adults have stink glands on the underside of the thorax. 

The Mottled Shield Bug has a hard, hairless, smooth exoskeleton that looks like a shield.The shield is called a scutellum.It is yellowish-grey, grey, or brown with irregular mottled markings. Its underbelly is light-coloured. Its underbelly also has a long spur. On its lateral edge (side), called a connexivum, it has irregularly-spaced black and yellow markings. 

Mottled Shield Bug

It has forewings (front wings) called hemelytra, and it also has hindwings (back wings). Although it has wings, it is not a strong flyer. The membrane of the forewings is speckled dark-brown. Its six greyish-black legs, called tarsi, have three segments. It has a sucking mouthpart. 

It grows to about 2 centimetres (less than an inch) long. 

It is native to Europe, particularly in southern European countries. It prefers warm areas with deciduous forests, as well as parks and gardens.

It is terrestrial, living on the ground. It is diurnal, active mainly during the day.

The Mottled Shield Bug feeds on plants, using its sucking and piercing mouthparts that extract the sap (juice) from leaves and branches. Sometimes, it sucks the juices of dead insects.

The female lays about 40 eggs, in a line, on different parts of a plant. The eggs hatch after 2-5 days. The young, called nymphs, cannot fly. 

Mottled Shield Bug
Mottled Shield Bug

[Location of photographs: Paris, France]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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