Adult Size: Length: ca. 13 to15mm.
Identifying features: The Hawthorn Shieldbug is a mottled green colour has red-brown markings on the laterally-extended pronotum, the wings and the tip of its abdomen. This coulouration provides camouflage amongst the spring shoots of the hawthorn tree.
Habitat: A woodland species, although it may be found in hedgerows and trees in gardens and parks, where they appear to prefer flowering shrubs such as Cotoneasters and ornamental Hawthorns.
The Hawthorn Shieldbug overwinters as an adult, in crevices in trees and at the base of grassy tussocks, emerging in April and mating in the spring.
The larvae emerge from late May until late September or early October feeding on the leaves and fruit of Hawthorn, Oak Birch, Poplar, and other trees.
The new generation is complete from August/September or even later. The adults may become darker before hibernation.
Distribution: Common and widespread throughout most of Britain and Ireland, although more common in the south of England; it is scarcer in Scotland.
Similar species: Elasmostethus interstinctus is smaller with Iess colourful and Iess pointed lateral extensions to the pronotum.
The Birch Shieldbug is much smaller and less elongate without the red points on the pronotum and tip of the abdomen. It has pink-brown curved markings on the forewings.
The hawthorn shield bug has larger lateral extensions of the pronotum which are marked with red, while the scutellum is green and the abdomen frequently red-tipped.
Bantock & Botting (2018)
Evans & Edmondson (2005)
Judd (2009 & 2010)
Pendleton & Pendleton (1997—2018)
Wikimedia Commons (2018)