Shield beetles

This topic contains 8 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  NormTwigge 6 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #12876

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Hi everyone

    Has anyone seen the damage that can be done by a shield beetle? I haven’t seen them creating any problems for my larvae, but perhaps they are being eaten by shield beetles, sometimes called vegetable bugs.

    All ideas welcome!

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #16781

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    Hi Shaun, Interesting to hear of your background. Books are written on information gained by people involved with research and studies, also sometimes with references to earlier works. Every now and again obvservant people note instances that contradict the information to date, and one would hope that the ‘ experts ‘ keep up to date.I have read in some books the the Red admiral will only lay on U.ferox or Ongaonga, and know from my own observations that this statement is inaccurate. This is where a vehicle such as the MBNZT forums can be a good learning base. There is still very much to be learned on N.Z. butterflies.
    Cheers – Norm.

    #16777

    Shaun
    Participant

    Hi Norm,

    Yes, I can categorically state that the green shield bugs can be a major predator on Monarch caterpillar larva. Back when I was a young fella I’d help mum squishing them on the swan plants, often 6 or 8 a day. Many times they were caught in flagrante so there’s no doubt regarding their predatory (or at least omnivorous) nature. In fact I remember catching a single brown one once and wondering if it was a mutation.

    One thing I learned from my time in The New Zealand Native Freshwater Fish Study Group was how little is actually known (or at least documented) about a lot of our fauna. DOC were falling all over themselves to get our membership to fill out observation forms listing species found (and lots of other variables) for every field trip we went on. DOC accumulated more data on ‘range’ and preferred habitat type for most species in a couple of years from us than they’d managed to collect previously.

    Cheers,

    Shaun.

    (Still annoyed that my parents sold my bound, complete collection of “New Zealand’s Nature Heritage” magazines when the had a garage sale before moving to Aus. My fault for leaving it there I guess.)

    #16774

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    Hi, The information re the green and brown shield bugs came from two different books on N.Z. insects. It would seem that in light of Shaun’s observations, it is a case of there being exceptions to every rule.
    Cheers – Norm.

    #16766

    Shaun
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui,

    In that link to the pic of a shield bug it says that the green ones don’t feed on caterpillars. This is untrue, I have witnessed them in the act quite a few times. Perhaps their favourite food is plant sap (they used to be very troublesome on my runner beans) and they’re omnivores but I’ve certainly seen them sucking Monarch larvae. (Which, after all, are just liquefied plant in a sack of skin.)
    I just thought I’d mention it as I’d hate to have folks leaving the green ones alone and wondering why their cats are getting eaten.
    Cheers,

    Shaun.

    #16752

    haluca
    Member

    I had a small problem with these guys a few weeks ago, thankfully only lost two pillars to them. I posted about them, the thread is called ‘Murder suspect ID’

    #16751

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hey excellent photo Norm and Jacqui!. I had a dead pillar hanging over in a v shape a couple of weeks ago. Wonder if that was the culprit. I’ll be on the lookout for this critter.

    Just want to say how its great when people can post their experiences so we can all continue to learn.

    Swansong

    #16748

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Norm Twigge has sent an excellent clipping in to the “photographs” of Monarch Trust (thanks Norm). You can see it here:

    http://www.monarch.org.nz/monarch/2008/02/06/shield-bugs/

    #16173

    Anonymous

    Yes I have seen the shield beetles killing larvae. Particularly the brown beetles, I cant think of their name right now, they do alot of damage. You can usually see them though.
    Jasmine

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