Shield bugs are the Acanthosomatidae, a family of Hemiptera. There are 55 genera, with about 200 species. It is one of the least varied families of bugs. The number of species is quite low for beetles, and it is not known why this is so. Individually they are fairly common.
|Acanthosomatidae - relative sizes|
Shield bugs, like almost all bugs, live by sucking the sap of plants, usually flowering plants. They have a "layered" defence system. From a distance they are difficult to see because they are camouflaged. Then, they have a tough armoured back. Lastly, if touched, they give off revolting scents, rather like stink bugs (which are a related group).
- Faúndez E.I. 2009. Contribution to the knowledge of the genus Acrophyma Bergroth, 1917 (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Acanthosomatidae). Zootaxa. 2137: 57-65
- Faúndez E.I. 2014. A new genus for a Chilean species of Acanthosomatidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Zootaxa, 3768(5): 596-600