Orange Black Stink Bug


Jewel bugs, Shield Backed Bugs -Family Scutelleridae

Species in this family are know as Jewel Bugs or Shield Backed Bugs. Bugs in this family are usually colourful with metallic colour of spots. They are medium to large size. The head is triangular, antenna are 3-5 segmented. 
Photo thanks to Tracey Steele, Sydney 
Jewel Bugs and Shield-backed bugs are plant suckers.  They can be distinguished from other bugs by their scutellum completely covered the whole abdomen and wings. This is why sometimes they are miss-recognized as beetle. They are easily distinguished from beetles by having sucking mouthparts and the shield on the back is continuous, not the divided wings cover with separation at the middle.
This family are closely related to stink bugs (Family Pentatomidae). They also produce offensive odors when disturbed.

Subfamily Elvisurinae - Shield Backed Bug

Green Shield Backed Bug
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Coleotichus sp., body length 20mm
Found this bug once on Dec 2009 in a hilltop of  Anstead Forest. The bug was camouflaged well on leaves. It was slow moving. It flied away after we took a few pictures. Please also check this page for more information. 

Subfamily Scutellerinae - Jewel Bugs

Scutellerinae are brightly coloured shield bugs amongst the most striking colourful insects. 
Metallic Jewel Bug, Metallic Shield Bug
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Scutiphora pedicellata, body length 15mm
Metallic Shield Bugs can be found on leaf letter or under bark. They feed on vegetable, garden plants, trees and fruits. The bugs are metallic green in colour with orange and black patterns on the top. Underside of their body is bright red and black. More information and pictures can be found by clicking here.
Green Jewel Bug
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Lampromicra senator, body length 12mm
The bug is metallic dark green in colour, with orange mark on its back. Its legs are orange and dark green. Under its large shield, we can see the orange edges of abdomen. We have more information and pictures in this page.
Red Jewel Bug
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Choerocoris paganus, body length 12mm
In mid summer during bush-walking in the rain forest near Mt Nebo, we saw this bright red bug resting on a tall glass leaf. When we came closer to take some photos, the bug dropped onto the ground and run away quickly. Please also check this page for more details.

Subfamily Tectocorinae

There is only one Australian species in this subfamily.
Cotton Harlequin Bug
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Male                                                                    Female                                                                 Nymph Photo: Jeff O'Donnell, Sydney
Tectocoris diophthalmus, adults body length 20mm, nymph body length 10mm 
Cotton Harlequin Bugs are colourful. Females are orange with small patches of metallic blue scattered over their body. Males are metallic blue with red patches. Their patterns can be quite different between individual. Male are smaller than the females in size. Adults have their scutellum completely covered the whole abdomen and wings. More information and pictures please visit this page.

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 508.
2. Insects of Australia, Hangay, George, & German, Pavel, Reed New Holland, Sydney, 2000, pp 64.
3. Scutelleridae - Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Commonwealth of Australia 2005.
4. Revision of the Australian Scutelleridae Leach (Hemiptera) - FJD McDonald and G Cassis, Australian Journal of Zoology, 1984.
5. Plant-feeding and Other Bugs (Hemiptera) of South Australia. Heteroptera-Part I - Gross, G.F. (1975). Adelaide: A.B. James, p79.   
6. SCUTELLERIDAE Shield-backed Bugs - Save Our Waterways Now, 2008. 

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Last updated: July 29, 2010.