#204 Shield Bug (Elasmucha lateralis) aka Birch Stink Bug

19 September

A species of the Pentatomoide, characterised by a well-developed scutellum (the hardened extension of the thorax over the abdomen). It can be triangular to semielliptical in shape.[3] Pentatomoidea species usually have antennae with five segments. The tarsi usually have two or three segments.

Shield bugs have glands in their thoraces between the first and second pair of legs that produce a foul-smelling liquid, which is used defensively to deter potential predators and is sometimes released when the bugs are handled. The nymphs, similar to adults except smaller and without wings, also have stink glands.

The nymphs and adults have piercing mouthparts, which most use to suck sap from plants, although some eat other insects. When they group in large numbers, they can become significant pests.

** Re species ID … alternatively, this could be the related Podisus placidus, another species of predatory stink bug in the family Pentatomidae.

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