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Picromerus bidens Spiked Shieldbug
Family: Pentatomidae

A large and distinctive predatory shieldbug, which has unmistakeable thorn-like projections on the front of the pronotum.

This species usually overwinters as eggs and less frequently as nymphs, becoming adult
by July/August. The nymphs are greyish-black, with pale banded legs and yellow banded antennae. Like the adults, they are predatory, feeding on the larvae of other insects, particularly caterpillars, but will also suck sap from plants.

Widespread across Britain and Ireland, but scarcer further north and recorded recently from Scotland. Found in a variety of habitats; particularly heathland but also in damp flower-rich meadows and on chalk downland.

Adult: July-November
Length 12-13.5 mm


see illustrated life stages chart
Picromerus bidens
Adult: Surrey (September 2009) ©Tristan Bantock

Picromerus bidens Picromerus bidens
Adult: Surrey (September 2009) ©Tristan Bantock

Adult: Lincs (October 2007) ©Rachel Scopes
Picromerus bidens possible Picromerus bidens nymph
Adult: Surrey (August 2009) ©Tristan Bantock

Early instar nymphs: ©northeastwildlife
possible Picromerus bidens nymph possible Picromerus bidens nymph
Early instar nymph: Surrey (July 2010) ©Tristan Bantock

Mid instar nymph: south Wales (June 2009) ©Barry Stewart
Picromerus bidens nymph Picromerus bidens nymph
Final instar nymph: Lincs (July 2007) ©Adrian Royle

Final instar nymph: Surrey (June 2009) ©Tristan Bantock