Giant Shield Bugs and Nymphs (Tessaratomidae)
(see captions for identifications)
Tessaratomidae is a family of true bugs, similar in appearance to the more common shield/stink bugs of the family Pentatomidae. Larger species are known informally as Giant Shield Bugs or Giant Stink Bugs and are sometimes quite colourful. They are phytophagous (i.e. eat plants) generally sucking the sap from plants belonging to the plant orders Rosales (roses, apples, stone fruits, nettles and others) and Sapindales (citrus, maples, mangoes and many others), and spend most of their lives on tree leaves and stems.
As in other hemipterans, tessaratomids are hemimetabolic, undergoing incomplete metamorphosis. This means that they do not possess larval and pupal stages. Instead, juvenile tessaratomids (called nymphs), hatch directly from the eggs.
Nymphs usually undergo four to five successive stages of moultings (ecdysis), increasing in size and becoming more adult-like with each stage until the final moulting. They are wingless throughout these developmental stages. The stages are individually known as instars, with the earliest stage (just after hatching) being known as the first nymphal instar. Tessaratomid nymphs often differ significantly from adults in the colours and patterns exhibited. In my local species, nymphs exhibit strikingly vibrant colours in contrast to the relative drabness of adults. These colours can also vary between instars and seemingly depending on the food plant.
The onset of spring and new plant growth with fresh shoots emerging, heralds the arrival of a multitude of these bug nymphs in all their sizes, colours, shapes, species and instar stages. It is also true that many nymphal stages are unidentified with respect to the adults they become.
See more images of the nymphal forms of Tessaratomid Giant Shield Bugs in my photostream HERE. And adult Tessaratomid Giant Shield Bugs HERE.
by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China
See more Chinese true bugs and hoppers on my Flickr site HERE…..
this is an evil that cannot be purged with fire alone