Shield bug

family of insects

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.[1][2] The number of species is quite low for beetles, and it is not known why this is so. Individually they are fairly common.

Shield bug
Temporal range: Early Jurassic–Recent
Acanthosomatidae sizes.jpg
Acanthosomatidae - relative sizes
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Heteroptera
Infraorder: Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily: Pentatomoidea
Leach 1815

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).


  1. Faúndez E.I. 2009. Contribution to the knowledge of the genus Acrophyma Bergroth, 1917 (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Acanthosomatidae). Zootaxa. 2137: 57-65
  2. Faúndez E.I. 2014. A new genus for a Chilean species of Acanthosomatidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Zootaxa, 3768(5): 596-600