Birch Shield Bug Elasmostethus interstinctus
The Birch Shield Bug is quite similar to some other species, including the Juniper Shield Bug. It is imporatant to look at the edge: this is in one colour only. The amount of red varies from individual to individual. Usually the animals are darker (brownish red) in winter. Reaching a length of some 9 to 11 mm, the size is that of many other shield bugs. The adults of this species appear in September and overwinter. The larvae are usually seen in July and August. In the bottom picture a 5th (and last) instar larva. The pictures in the middle show a much earlier instar. The larvae have been identified by Berend Aukema as being Elasmostethus larvae, but he can not be absolutely sure they are the Birch Shield Bug's, even though this is more than likely. Adults love low bushes, preferably in the sun shine. Larvae found on Birch mainly. General species in Britain. To be found all over the Northern Hemispere: Europe, Northern Asia, Japan and Northern America. Canadians and Americans usually refer to this species simply as the Birch Bug.