Pinned specimen of Lampromicra senator (Photo Credit: Paige Maroni)

Green Jewel Bug

Lampromicra senator

The Scutelleridae is a family of true bugs, more commonly referred to as jewel bugs or metallic shield bugs, due to their often brilliant, metallic colouration. Scutellerids are moderately-sized (9-14mm) oval insects, that are often brightly coloured in metallic blues and greens. Similar to their sister-family, the stink bugs (Pentatomidae), jewel bugs can produce an offensive odour from glands located on the sides of the thorax, when disturbed or threatened by predators.There are 13 genera and 25 species of Scutelleridae in Australia.

Morphology

Scutellerids are identified by their large, shield-like scutellum, which nearly completely covers their abdomen and wings. Lampromicra senator is extremely variable in colouration, ranging from metallic green to purplish-blue with orange markings ventrally and on the anterior of the scutellum.

Evolution

There are only two species in the genus Lampromicra, L. regia and L. senator.

Behaviour

All jewel bugs feed on plants. This insect forms non-feeding clusters during hot dry periods especially along creeks, spreading out to feed on many plants from ferns and figs to Lantana when conditions improve.

Method of reproduction

Sexual

Habitat

Terrestrial

Known to breed on the shrub Breynia oblongifolia in open forest (McDonald 1963), however have also been documented overwintering in various concealed locations as well as being collected from within a gorge alongside Salmond River, northern Western Australia.

Distribution

Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.

Life Cycle

Adult jewel bugs develop from several stages (instars) of nymphs (usually five) through successive moltings (ecdysis). Eggs are laid in compact clusters on vegetation and are white or cream coloured when freshly laid but can change colour as the embryo matures. When hatching, the prolarva exit the egg via the tip of the egg and will resemble the adults except for size and the absence of wings.

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Superfamily: Pentatomoidea
Family: Scutelleridae
Subfamily: Scutellerinae
Genus: Lampromicra
Species: senator
Name Published Year: 1803
Rank: species
Scientific Name Authorship: Fabricius
Commercial Impact: 

In the early 1900s Lampromicra senator was reported as a minor pest of cherries, though there have been no recent pest records.

Net Conservation Benefits Fund

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Western Australian Museum Collections https://museum.wa.gov.au/online-collections/names/lampromicra-senator
Accessed 28 Oct 2021

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