New research has revealed for the first time that shield bugs use a variety of colours throughout their lives to avoid predators.
Shield bugs are often bright, colourful insects that use colours to warn off their distastefulness to predators. The paper, published in The Royal Society, found that it is impossible to predict what an adult bug will look like based on their colour when young.
“We found that in most species, the same individual bug will use different colour combinations as nymphs – young bugs – and adults, going for example from red and green to yellow and green,” said lead author and ecologist Dr Iliana Medina, from the University of Melbourne’s School of Biosciences. MORE
Header image: Female and nymph of the cotton harlequin bug show their true colours – which help keep them safe. Credit: Iliana Medina.