Name: Hawthorn Shieldbug
Scientific name: Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale
Nature Stars: 40
About: The first shieldbug you are likely to come across is our largest and one of the commonest species, the Hawthorn Shieldbug. This handsome green and red animal reaches up to 14mm in length, and can be found where ever suitable shrubby food plants are available nearby. Over the summer, the nymphs feed on ripening red berries, particularly hawthorn but it will also feed on rowan, whitebeam and cotoneaster. The adults appear from late August and will often wander quite far from their food plant, occasionally being attracted to lights at night, when they may also turn up in moth traps. The adults go into hibernation in the late autumn, and then re-emerge to breed in the spring.
How to identify: There are five similar green and red shieldbugs. The Gorse Shieldbug is more rounded, while the Hairy Shieldbug is covered in short hairs and has a black and white chequered pattern around the edge of the body. The Birch Shieldbug and Juniper Shieldbug are both a similar shape to Hawthorn Shieldbug, but much smaller and with a different pattern of red and green.
Photograph credit: Ken