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Parent Bug Elasmucha grisea

Measuring some 6 to 8 mm only, the Parent Bug (also called Motherly Shield Bug) is much smaller than the species we have been dealing with before. It is not the easiest shield bug to identify, for it appears in two colour variations. The typical specimen is grey, like the one in the top pictures. However there also is a very common redbrown variation as can be seen in the bottom picture. And if that wasn't enough in some specimens the redbrown colours are very dull and the insect appears to be brownish green. The mothers take good care of their babies, something unheard of in the world of the bug. After laying her eggs she guards them, protecting them with her body and spraying her stinking poison to whoever or whatever threatens her young. After hatching she will protect her offspring in the same way. Mother and young stay together for quite some time and occassionally one can see a mother and her young marching from one leaf to another collectively. This species depends on birch and is common in areas where these tree grow; absent elsewhere.