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Vernal Shieldbug Peribalus strictus

Measuring some 10 mm the Vernal Shieldbug is a typical Shield Bug. In spring and summer it is light brown, but it turns dark brown in autumn. The edge of the shoulders is white in front and so is the tip of the shield. The three base segments of the antenna are reddish yellow, the two top segments are black, except for a small yellow reddish ring at the base.

The adults overwinter and in spring the eggs are being deposited. The larvae appear from March or April onwards, but quite quickly turn into adult bugs, which are seen from May to September. Both larvae and adults are vegetarians, sucking on a number of shrubs and herbs. In Germany it is very often seen on the Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).

Originally a species from dry grasslands in Southern and Central Europe it is now moving northwards. In Belgium a common species. In the Netherlands an uncommon species in the South, but still very rare in the North. In Britain a very rare species in the South of England only. The Vernal Shieldbug has established itself in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth. It is spreading slowly through Southern England.