Martin Harvey's picture

Picromeus bidens bug preying on Gold Spot moth - Dorset

Observed: 29th August 2013 By: Martin Harvey
Berkshire Moth GroupFSC - Field Studies CouncilSoldierflies and Allies Recording SchemeBuckinghamshire Invertebrate Group
Invertebrates expert
Picromeus bidens - Middlebere-006
Picromeus bidens - Middlebere

The shieldbug Picromerus bidens bug is more often seen preying on caterpillars, but this one attacked a Gold Spot moth several sizes bigger than it was. But once the bug had pierced the moth's head there was no escape.

Species interactions

Species with which Spined Shieldbug (Picromerus bidens) interacts


Joe Botting's picture


That's quite a find, Martin - the strength of these things is very impressive. like you say, it normally goes for caterpillars. I'm always surprised that (unlike flower bugs) they never seem to go for humans...

rockwolf's picture

And I quote...

....."I'm always surprised that (unlike flower bugs) they never seem to go for humans..." Well thank goodness for that!!! Never been 'stabbed' by a flower bug, but a Deraeocoris ruber got me in the summer!!

As regards the images, I agree, they're absolutely superb! Always wanted to find a shieldbug with prey... one day!

wildaboutnature's picture

Martin, I am completely in

Martin, I am completely in awe of this observation and image. What a moment to capture. Have tweeted, if you don't mind.

Clare Flynn

Wildlife Ranger's picture

The Predatory SB

Troilurus luridus also feed on lepidoptera larvae. There are only circa 3 or so British SB which are predatory and obtain juices in this fashion , the majority of the 43 or so British SB are Phytophagous - feeding on plants limitted by their less specialist mouthparts. Spiked are very predicable in so far as they will appear on lower bramble layers with berries in partuclar when larvae and weather conditions are good in late summer and often like many SB along water corridors such as streams and rivers


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