Line Line
Dock Leaf Bug Coreus marginatus

Many shield bugs are brown. And in brown bugs too one finds a lot of look-a-likes, even between species from different families. The Dock Leaf Bug, which is also called the Brown Squash Bug, looks very much like Arma custos, a species we'll be dealing with later. Mind you though that Arma custos is not a British species. Compared to Arma custos the Dock Leaf Bug has no stripes on the edges and its shoulders are more rounded. But the biggest difference between the species is in the tip of the antennae. The Dock Leaf Bug has dark tipped antennae, those of Arma custos are light tipped. The Dock Leaf Bug is a strict vegetarian feeding on plants and fruit.

The Dock Leaf Bug has two small pointers in the front of the head, between the antennae. Another distinguishing mark. Normally it is just a little bigger than the Green Shield Bug, reaching a length of 12 to 15 mm. You'll find it on many flowers in the garden, often in small groups, comprised of both adults and larvae. Because it hibernates in all life stages, it can be seen almost all year around. Hibernating specimens often are a bit darker in colour. This species loves flying. When threatened it spreads its stinking poison around and it produces a lot of the stuff. Should your skin make contact with it, it turns brown. And it will stay that way for a while, for it is very hard to wash off this poison. The larvae have the same colour the adults have, but they lack the stripings on the edge shields. In the bottom pictures larvae are depicted. The Dock Leaf Bug is a very common species all over the British Isles and in most of Europe and Northern America as well.