Southern Marsh Orchids

Southern Marsh Orchids

Friday, 18 October 2013

Hawthorn Shieldbug

I've not seen many Shieldbugs this year, the only others being a single Bishop's Mitre and a few Green Shieldbugs.  I spotted this one in the garden yesterday, funnily enough not far from a Hawthorn hedge.

Hawthorn Shield Bug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)
They are unremarkable creatures from a distance, but as with many insects if they are seen close-up the texture and colours can be stunning.  Hawthorn Shieldbugs can be separated from the similar looking Birch Shieldbug (Elasthomus interstinctus)  by their larger size, and the fact that the 'shoulders' (the pronotum) stick out much further.

Unlike many other insect groups, many shieldbugs are easily identifiable without specialist equipment and keys though a x10 hand lens is sometimes useful.  The laminated fold-out AIDGAP Guide to the Shieldbugs of the British Isles produced by the FSC is a good place to start at a very modest cost if you are interested!

This is a reasonably common species I believe, although there are comparatively few records from Wales on the NBN Gateway:
Distribution of Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale in the UK according to records accessible through the NBN Gateway
Hawthorn Shieldbug

Source: NBN Gateway


  1. Great photo Adam, as you say it's a stunning beast when seen up close. I see them regularly in my garden - I think they come off our Rowan tree.

    My Llandaff North garden 'shieldbug' list currently comprises: Green, Birch, Hawthorn and Hairy, and also Forest Bug and Dock Bug.

  2. Thanks George! I presume they come out well in photos because they are so flat. You don't have to worry about depth of field at all. I've see Forest Bug as well as the Bishop's Mitre but not any of the others that you have. I've also seen a Western Conifer Seed Bug here, which must be relatively closely related, yet another adventive species.

    They are a really nice group to look at I think because there aren't hundreds of them and they don't need peering at down a microscope whilst simultaneously trying to read a particularly obscure key.