Quick facts

Common name: hawthorn shieldbug

Scientific name: Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale

Family: Acanthosomatidae

Habitat: woodland, gardens, hedgerows, parks

Diet: hawthorn leaves and haws

Predators: birds

Origin: native

What do hawthorn shieldbugs look like?

The hawthorn shieldbug is large, with a wingspan of 1.6cm, and is usually bright green although it can vary in colour. It is covered in lots of small black dots and has pointed ‘shoulders’ and red-brown wings.

Not to be confused with: the birch shieldbug, which is smaller and shorter, with a different pattern.

Hawthorn shield bug fourth instar nymph

Credit: Amy Lewis / WTML

What do hawthorn shieldbugs eat?

Hawthorn shieldbug nymphs feed on ripening haws, the fruit of the hawthorn tree. They also eat rowan and whitebeam berries.

Adults feed on hawthorn leaves, a habit that earned the species its name.

How do hawthorn shieldbugs breed?

The female shieldbug lays her eggs during the spring, with them hatching in the summer. The nymphs mature in August and can be seen in areas close to their food plant.

Did you know?

Adult hawthorn shield bugs hibernate over winter.

Where do hawthorn shieldbugs live?

Hawthorn shieldbugs are widespread across the UK and are usually found on hawthorn, as well as other trees such as hazel, rowan, birch and oak. It is commonly found in woodland, as well as parks and gardens.

Did you know?

Hawthorn shield bugs are drawn to bright lights, and can often turn up in moth traps.

Signs and spotting tips

Look out for the hawthorn shieldbug between May and October (though you won’t see new generation hawthorn shieldbugs until August or September). It’s one of the most commonly encountered shieldbugs in the UK so they’re likely to be around in gardens and woods that contain its shrubby food plants.

Threats and conservation

The hawthorn shieldbug is common across the UK, and is not currently considered to be under threat.