Variable Shield Bug
Yellow Adult, ventral
Green Shield Backed Bug
Green Shield Backed Bug (Coleotichus costatus)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: True Bugs (Hemiptera)
Family: Shield Backed Bug (Pentatomoidea, Scutelleridae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Green Shield Backed Bug (Coleotichus costatus)
This Photo:     🔍Dorsal🔎

Thank you Cynthia Chan for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere
~15mm long. A lightly toned, large bug.
We found one on Dodonaea & another on Acacia. The 3rd came to the night light/sheet.
They have lots of tiny maroon dots on pale brown around the edge of their backs match the Dodonaea fruit perfectly. These maroon & green dots are the colour of the punctuations scattered all over it.
It also has very distinctive purple spots around the edge underneath.
They can vary from brown to green.
Red compound eyes with two red jewels (actually an Ocellus, simple eye), one above each compound eye.
You'll notice in the ventral shot it was photo-bombed by a Ruthenburg bug that were inundating the light sheet that night.
While the shield (scutellum) is solid, they have wings and can fly. Cynthia kindly explained this, along with other consideration: "The scutellum is a structure that arises from the thoracic segments and is associated with but is not a part of the wings. In the case of the Scutelleridae, the enlarged scutellum which is characteristic for the group (hence their name) extends over the two pairs of flight wings to protect them much in the same way that elytra (hardened forewings) in beetles protect the hindwings. Because of the similarity in their appearance scutellerids are often mistaken for beetles though what we are seeing on their dorsum are entirely different parts of the insect.
Scutellerids are quite good fliers, and the large scutellum does not hinder their wings. The wings are slid out from under the scutellum and unfold to extend laterally." There are futher links to images on the iNaturalist page linked here.
We photographed 3 specimens in Jan & Mar.

Copyright © 2011-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 01-Jan-2011
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.