T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Bug (Shield bug) Schellenberg's soldier bug (Oechalia schellenbergii)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Heteroptera
Infraorder: Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily: Pentatomoidea
Family  Pentatomidae
Subfamily: Asopinae
Genus: Oechalia
Species: O.schellenbergii
Scientific name: Oechalia schellenbergii
Synonyms: Pentatoma schellenbergii, Arma schellembergi, Pentatoma consociale, Oechalia consocialis, Rhaphigaster perfectus
Common names: Schellenberg's soldier bug, Spined Predatory Shield Bug, Predatory Shield Bug

Oechalia schellenbergii is a species of a soldier bug insect native to New Zealand and Australia. It is a predator of insects in native ecosystems and in gardens. They feed on free-living insects such as caterpillars and beetle larvae.
The adult grey-brown bugs have a very variable appearance. They have distinctively pointed thorns on the shoulder of the pronotums. The body length varies from 7.5 to 12 millimetres. The body and forewings have a pale background covered with dark punctures. The tip the scutellum is a pale colour. Each dark brown antenna has three sections. The six legs are a pale brown.
The adults have two pairs of wings. The front pair is modified as covers for the hind wings. Part of the forewing is coloured brown, while the rest is membranous.

Adults overwinter in sheltered places and appear in November to lay clusters of >28 black eggs in rows. Each egg has a prominent ring of white spines on top. There is one generation per year. The hatched nymphs go through five nymphal instars (stages) by moulting. The first instar nymph is the only stage that is not a predator.

An adult
 

Fifth instar nymph of Schellenberg's soldier bug, Oechalia schellenbergii

 
Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information:
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