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You wouldn’t think an insect that looks like it’s wearing armour (hence ‘shield’ bug) could be hairy but the Hairy shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum) is living proof. It’s difficult to see the hairs when you’re viewing them in full sunshine, as their shield-shaped backs are quite shiny, but if you can get a close view in a shady setting, you can see the hairs on their legs and, in my photo below, along the top of the shield.

200422 hairy shieldbug (5)

I found at least 20, probably more, of these handsome creatures in the scrub alongside a seldom-walked local path, and will be keeping an eye on this area to see if I can spot their offspring in the coming months, as it’s always interesting to see the different stages of growth. You can see images of these different instars, not only for the Hairy shieldbug but also for all the other shieldbug species, on the excellent British Bugs website.