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|Gorse Shield Bug|
|Species Type||Shield Bug|
|Environment||Africa, most of Europe, Northern Asia excluding China, and North America.|
|Discoverer||Carl Linnaeus (presumed)|
|Reproduction||Sexual; lays eggs|
|Average Length||0.39-0.51 in (10-13 mm)|
|Locomotion||Hexapodal; capable of flight|
|Feeding Behavior||Plant sap|
|Prey||legumes -- especially the Common Broom and the Dyer's Greenweed, but also on Alfalfa, Vetches, Sweet-clover, Crownvetches, Sainfoins, Lupins, et cetera|
|First Sighting||1761 (presumed)|
They can easily be confused for the Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina) to the uneducated, but they can be told apart as P. lituratus have red antennae and can be found in different habitats.
Gorse Shield Bugs are large shield bugs, reaching lengths of 0.39-0.51 in (10-13 mm). Interestingly, most of the species can occur in two adult colorations: In spring they will emerge and mate and in this stage they are predominately green, while new generations that will appear in late summer will have purplish-red markings on the pronotum and corium. By autumn they have developed a much paler coloration but prior to hibernation they become darker and then by the end of hibernation they have become green. However, the alliaceus variation will only have a yellowish-green color to them.
P. lituratus live in any habitats where their host plants can be located: These consist of various legumes -- especially the Common Broom and the Dyer's Greenweed, but also on Alfalfa, Vetches, Sweet-clover, Crownvetches, Sainfoins, Lupins, and others. Even so, they prefer prefer dry and warm habitats, especially with sandy soil.
Mating takes place from May to July, the females lay 10 to 20 eggs on the stems, leaves and fruits of the host plants. The nymphs occur until September. The adult of the new summer generation can be found from the end of July or beginning of August. Hibernation takes place as imago.