The Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina) is an insect in the Pentatomidae family of shield bugs.
The Green Shield Bug is solid, bright-green to bronze. It has a hard, hairless, smooth exoskeleton that looks like a shield. The shield is called a scutellum. Its underbelly is light-coloured. It has a small head with its eyes on the side of its head. It has forewings (front wings) called hemelytra, and it also has hind wings (back wings). Although it has wings, it is not a strong flyer. Its six green 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 in a large variety of habitats, including gardens. In Europe, it is visible from April to September/November. It hibernates in the winter months from November to March.
It is terrestrial, living on the ground. It is diurnal, active mainly during the day.
It feeds on sap (juice) from plants, using its sucking and piercing mouthparts that extract the sap from leaves and branches.
The female lays 25-30 eggs on the leaves of plants. The eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae stay in sibling communities while they go through four nymph stages, moulting as they grow. They change colour with each nymphal stage. The nymphs cannot fly.
Location of photograph: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM