Birch Shieldbug – (Elasmostethus interstinctus)


Elasmostethus interstinctus
© S. Rae, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Family: Acanthosomatidae

Adult Size:  Length: ca. 8.0 to 11.5 mm.

 Identifying features: The Birch Shieldbug is a medium sized green bug, with dark red-brown and black markings on the corium.

E. interstinctus, fifth instar nymph
© Donald Hobern from Copenhagen, Denmark, Wikimedia Commons

Habitat: A common woodland species that is also found in gardens, parks and mature hedgerows.

Months seen: The adults are active from early June until early September although they have been recorded on ivy blossom in late November.

Larvae: these can be found from early June until early September, feeding on birch, but may also be seen on hazel and aspen; the new generation is complete by August.

This species overwinters as an adult, emerging and mating in the spring.

Distribution: Common and widely distributed in mixed birch woodlands throughout Britain and Ireland. It is a frequent visitor to light traps.

North Merseyside Distribution Map

Please note numbers refer to records not individuals.

Similar species:

This is a distinctive species; although it may be confused with the much larger Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale) has a green scutellum and red points to the projections on the pronotum and tip of the abdomen.

The Juniper Shieldbug (Cyphostethus tristriatus) is on average smaller and has red- brown curved markings on the corium.

Bantock (2018)

Bantock & Botting (2018)

Bradley (2017)

Evans  & Edmondson (2005)

Judd (2009 & 2010)

Pendleton & Pendleton (1997—2018)

Wikiwand (2018)

Wikimedia Commons (2018)