Bug Shots

A closer look at insect photography

Archive for the ‘Hemiptera’ Category

True Bugs, Cicadas, Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers

Gum Tree Shield Bug

Posted by Darren on July 19, 2010

Here’s a shot of what is commonly known as the Gum Tree Shield Bug, one of several Shield bug species that inhabit eucalyptus tress in the area.   These Shield bugs are known to emit a foul-smelling odour if attacked which is quite pungent.  I found out the hard way a few weeks ago when a shield bug hitched a ride on my back into my workplace.  Feeling something crawl near the back of my neck, I rubbed the area with my hand and unfortunately had to sit the rest of the day with a foul-smelling shirt collar.  When you discover how bad it smells, it must be horrible to taste and a great deterrent for a hungry predator.  In this shot you can see the long proboscis tucked underneath the body.  When you look at their exoskeleton up close it is very intricate and almost crustacean-like in appearance.

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Eucalyptus Tip Bug says “Back Off”

Posted by Darren on April 16, 2010

Here are some photos of a more mature specimen of the Eucalyptus Tip Bug (Amorbus alternatus).  I find these sap sucking insects on new eucalyptus shoots, and when approached they will stick their large legs out sideways in what I assume is a warning posture or an attempt to make themselves look larger.   They can also produce a foul smell when disturbed which I would assume would be a strong deterrent to a predator. They will rarely try and escape when approached which suggests that their defensive behaviors are probably quite effective.  A bird or lizard who tried to eat one probably wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

The nymphs of these insects have beautiful colours (see previous Eucalyptus Tip Bug post) and also impressive defensive behaviours when approached.   I have seen the nymphs quiver their bodies when threatened as if to say “I’m here, I taste very bad and I’m poisonous…so back off”. I hope to catch some photos of the more immature nymphs if they are still around on my resident eucalypts.

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Shield Bug…I think?

Posted by Darren on April 8, 2010

I think this is a Shield bug, or some form of stink bug.

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