Hawthorn Shield Bug

Hawthorn Shield Bug

“Dad, dad, dad.”

The children all shouting in unison. It can only mean one thing: one of them has their head stuck in the hole in the piano leg again.*

But no: this is one of those happy occasions when the children have found something which they know will interest me. Mooonrise, thunderstorms, rainbows, butterflies, a slowworm in the garden, a colourful stone, a moth trapped in a bedroom – “Dad,” they yell, “bring your camera.”

Stink Bug

This time it was this – a hawthorn shield bug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale (there’s a name to make some of us wince) which had found its way into our porch. It doesn’t live solely on hawthorns, but is inordinately fond of haws apparently.

“It’s a stink bug Dad.” B told me authoritatively.

“Why do you call it that?”

“Because if you pick it up then it will squirt you with stinky stuff.”

“Oh. How do you know that then?”

“Well….why else would you call it a stink bug?”

Irrefutable logic.

He’s right though. They do do that. This one was very well behaved however, when I carried it outside to find better light for a photo.

*The head in the piano incident: sounds like something from a Carry On film, I know, but, yes, this did happen. No, I didn’t take any photos. It was B. Yes, boy was removed from said hole without significant damage to either child or piano, although he was quite red-faced and upset by the time we’d manoeuvred him out. Actually, I think we were all quite red-faced and upset. I don’t know how the piano felt about the matter, but it did have to be re-tuned shortly afterwards. No, I don’t know why he did it. We’re encouraging him to play guitar now that we’re alive to the dangers of the piano. Any more questions?

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Hawthorn Shield Bug

17 thoughts on “Hawthorn Shield Bug

  1. I see these quite alot down here. I’ll be careful next time I pick one up. I’ll refrain from any bad taste comments about being squirted with stinky stuff……

    I’ll make sure all the holes are blocked up before you arrive

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I don’t think any degree of Health and Safety preparations can proof your house against my kids capacity for getting into bother. Thanks for the thought though.
      I was expecting the bad taste comments to pick up on ‘inordinately fond of haws’……No? I’ll get me coat.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      No – you’ve got me there? You’ll have to explain that one Danny, sorry. Am I being dense?

          1. beatingthebounds says:

            You’ve jolted me into a line of thought on a new approach to the challenge though……”a special blend of psychology and extreme violence”, or at least a net and a pin. I might get Victorian on their ass. (Extra points for recognising the source of the (mis)quote(s).) (Shan’t be attempting to tempt pond-skaters with Felicity Kendal’s old knickers though)

  2. I’ve neither seen nor heard of anything like that bug before and it’s absolutely beautiful. Will keep my eyes peeled for one and impress Geoff…
    The piano thing doesn’t surprise me at all. When I was ten I once decided to see how far I could cycle down the road with my eyes closed. Not very far as it turned out.
    And we once had a Border Collie stuck in the bannisters in a similar fashion to the piano leg. I think she had quite a sore rib cage by the time we got her out.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Shield bugs have only recently appeared on my radar. The handful of different species I’ve seen to date have all been pretty stunning. I think, as Andy’s suggests, that they’re actually quite common. Happy hunting.

  3. But no: this is one of those happy occasions when the children have found something which they know will interest me. Mooonrise, thunderstorms, rainbows, butterflies, a slowworm in the garden, a colourful stone, a moth trapped in a bedroom – “Dad,” they yell, “bring your camera.”

    Lovely paragraph, makes me wish I had children so they could find beautiful things for me!

    It is a spectacular bug.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I feel like it would be responsible of me to issue some sort of warning at this point – you know, like the one about the value of shares going down as well as up, but I can’t think quite how to phrase it. On the other hand, perhaps you should try a test drive – I know someone with several very well-behaved sprogs available on loan for weekends 🙂

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Hi Loren, I have no idea how widespread they are, I’m afraid, you’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      We have forest bugs, and green shield bugs, and probably lots of others too, but those are for future forays.

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