Isn’t this Jewel Bug or Metallic Shield Bug (Scutiphora pedicellata) beautiful?
Sorry about the blurry head. It was so windy that I was lucky to get shots as clear as this. Oh and it really wasn’t all that happy about me taking photos either.
Ok – for the nerds among us (yes, that’s me too!) here are the particulars:
Kingdom: Animalia (naturally!)
Sub-phylum: Hexapoda (that covers all creatures with 6 legs and antennae)
If you want to see these guy’s in their other stages of life go to Morewell National Park‘s website.
Jewel Bugs are sap suckers that feed on a number of different plants, including some food crops. I haven’t had any problems with them in my garden do date. Therefore, I treat them as very welcome visitors. This particular bug has been hanging out on a potato that sprouted in my leafy greens bed.
Why is this a “Bug” not a beetle? Well, these guys, those of the order Hemiptera have four membraneous wings beneath their scutellum as opposed to beetles who only have two. Also, these guy’s have what I would best describe as a “Ute Lid” styled scutellum. Beetles have a dual scutellum that has a split down the middle which, when they take flight, open up more like gull-wing doors.
Come to think of it, Herbie really was more of a “Love Beetle” than a “Love Bug”. Maybe if Herbie was a Ute…