Green Shield Bug Palomena prasina

Green Shield Bug Palomena prasina

Double click to get a little closer.

August 2017, local woodland margin, Staffordshire, England.

Being Bugged

Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina

In the garden this morning I could not help but notice how many of these bugs called the Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina), where sunning themselves on my bush. The more I looked the more I saw, and to my astonishment they were in various stages of colouring. There were about ten in all quite happily basking, the one above still in his or her autumn and winter coat, the one below in their spring and summer coat.

Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina

And last but not least, this one in the change, somewhere between the two as it is gradually turning green. They should all be green within a week or so once out of hibernation.

Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina

Green Shieldbug

Palomena prasina

Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina)
Summer adult
Green Shield Bug Palomena prasina winter adult
Winter adult

The Green Shieldbug is exactly as its name describes, although it does darken to a deep bronze in the autumn before going into hibernation. It is quite a large shield-shaped bug, which is also called a ‘Stink Bug’ for it secretes a foul-smelling odour when felt threatened. Similar to the Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus) which is much slender with reddish wings. It can grow up to 14mm in length.

It mainly feeds on deciduous trees and shrubs, and tall herbs, but will consume a wide variety of plant material. It can cause damage to field crops, especially when found in large numbers, particularly vegetable crops, beans suffering the most problems, but not generally considered a pest.

The eggs are laid in small clusters on the underside of leaves. It overwinters as an adult.

Seen all year round, and it occurs in a wide variety of habitats, including woods, arable land, and gardens. Native to Britain, a common and widespread species.


June 2016 (top image) and March 2017 (bottom image), rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016 and 2017.

Green On Green

I discovered this green bug when it flew through my patio door. It is called the Green Shield Bug  (Palomena prasina). It is commonly seen resting on vegetation, but handle with care, for as a defence  mechanism it secretes a foul-smelling odour which has earned it another name ‘Stink Bug’.

Photograph taken June 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire.