Orange Black Stink Bug


Acacia Shield bug - Alcaeus varicornis

Family Pentatomidae

This page contains pictures and information about Acacia Shield Bugs that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Body length 20mm
This genera resemble the Poecilometis genera, however, its front wings membrane veins is reticulate instead of linear. There are four species in this genera. We found one species in Brisbane.  
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Pictures taken in Alexandra Hill on mid summer. This bug was very hard to be noticed on the Acacia tree trunk because of its camouflaged colours. 
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They are locally common on Acacia trees. In later summer March 2005, we found them on almost every large Acacia tree trunk along Bulimba Creek in Wishart. We also found some of them in pairs facing with each others, a kind of courtshipping. 
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The bugs are medium in size. They are strongly variegated and have the concave nose (the juga are apically acute and extend past the apex of the anteclypeus). The antenna is 4-segmented (appearing five). Lateral angles of the pronotum acute or produced into a short spine. 
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2nd instars body length 8mm
Pictures taken in Karawatha Forest during mid summer. The bug instars was wandering on grasses. We are not sure if this is the nymph of the Acacia Shield Bug.
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3rd instars                                                            4th instars  
However, this nymph have the concave nose (the juga are apically acute and extend past the apex of the anteclypeus). This is same as the adult Acacia Shield Bug which is quite a unique feature among the stink bugs we found. So we believed they are the Acacia Shield Bug nymph.

1. Stink Bugs of Australia - FaunaKeys,  Australian Museum online 2003.
2. Insect Reference Collection Database - Department of Agriculture Western Australia 
3. Alcaeus varicornis - Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Commonwealth of Australia 2005.
4. Alcaeus Dallas, 1851 - by Gerry Cassis, Emma Betts and Michael Elliott, Stink Bugs, Fauna Net, Australian Museum 2002
5. Plant-feeding and Other Bugs (Hemiptera) of South Australia. Heteroptera-Part II - Gross, G.F. (1976). Adelaide: A.B. James, p281.
6. A revision of the species of Australian and New Guinea shield bugs formerly placed in the genera Poecilometis Dallas and Eumecopus Dallas (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), with description of new species and selection of lectotypes.  - Gross, G.F. (1972). Aust. J. Zool. Suppl. Ser. 15: 1-192 (description, revision).

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Last updated: August 10, 2010.