Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug, click for a larger image
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Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug - Aelia acuminatas, click for a larger image

Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug - Aelia acuminata
Family - Pentatomidae

The Shieldbug genera are named rather literally from their similarity to medieval heraldic shield shapes and symbols.  However the Bishops Mitre is slightly different in that its resemblance to a "Bishops Mitre" has earned it its rather curious name.  A large and distinctive yellowish and greyish brown longitudinal striped shieldbug 8–10mm (0.3–0.4in) long, wingspan of 7–10mm (0.275–0.4in), with an obviously pointed head and ridged pronotum.

A widespread and common species throughout the UK of lawns, rank grasslands, sand dunes and corn fields where it can cause damage.  Three species of Mitre shieldbugs are to be found in Europe but only one in the UK, the other two are only found around the Mediterranean regions.  One generation a year with adults mating and laying eggs in spring and early summer.  The larvae feed on the ripening seeds of a range of Grasses in the Poaceae genus.  Adults will be seen all year but new adults may be found from August onwards.  Nymphs may be confused with the smaller Small Grass Shieldbug – Neottiglossa pusilla.

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