Name: Birch Shieldbug
Scientific name: Elasmostethus interstinctus
Nature Stars: 40
About: A smaller relative of the Hawthorn Shieldbug, only about 10mm long and with slightly duller colouration and without the projecting ‘shoulder pads’ of its larger cousin, the Birch Shieldbug feeds on birch catkins and is particularly abundant in the early autumn.
How to identify: Only likely to be confused with the Parent Shieldbug, which also feeds on birch catkins. The Birch Shieldbug is more brightly coloured, with plane green sides to the body. The Parent Shieldbug is duller in colour, with a chequer board black and creamy pattern along the sides of the body.
Photograph credit: Walwyn