General Description

A shiny, compact, convex bug. Head and legs deep blue, thorax also deep blue at sides but crimson and brown along the mid-line, abdomen (including wings) covered by a much-enlarged scutellum that is largely crimson but which bears one large blue blotch towards the front and two smaller ones towards the rear; these blotches may have a green or coppery sheen. Whole surface of body pitted with sparse puncturation. Eyes bulbous, antennae filamentous - antennal segments long and thin. Juveniles (nymphs) resemble adults but are smaller, more rounded and less brightly coloured. Body-length to 1 cm.

Biology

Adults and nymphs feed primarily on the sappy contents of seeds of hop-bush (Dodonaea viscosa), including those which have fallen to the ground. Nymphs are gregarious, forming mixed-size 'crèches' that are loosely tended by adults. In spring and early on summer mornings, all instars can be found sunning themselves on rocks or roads, having emerged from sheltering in the leaf-litter or under logs.

Distribution

Across Australia.

Habitat

Woodland and scrubland.

More Information

  • Animal Type

    Bugs

  • Brief Id

    Shiny, compact bug, deep blue with areas of crimson blotched with blue on scutellum covering abdomen, entire body surface pitted, antennae filamentous, body-length to 1 cm.

  • Colours

    Red, Blue, Black

  • Maximum Size

    1 cm

  • Habitats

    Woodland, Scrubland

  • Diet

    Herbivore

  • Hazards

    Generally not harmful, but can exude noxious chemicals.

  • Endemicity

    Native to Australia

  • Commercial

    No

  • Taxon Name

    Choerocoris paganus

  • Scientific Author

    (Fabricius, 1775)

  • Common Name

    Red Jewel-bug

  • Other Names

    Ground Shield Bug

  • Phylum

    Arthropoda

  • Class

    Insecta

  • Order

    Hemiptera

  • Family

    Scutelleridae

  • Genus

    Choerocoris

  • Species Name

    paganus