All kinds of shield bugs seem to love my sunflowers. There are two sloe bugs which I have been able to spot on my 2 big sunflowers nearly every day for a couple of weeks now. You can tell them from other shield bugs because if you look closely they have a layer of fine hairs. Since they seem to have taken residence we have managed to get some nice shots of them.
It was while I was looking at these sloe bugs that I heard a very loud insect flying past me, which landed and turned out to be a forest bug. It was the largest shield bug I have ever seen and had really big ‘shoulder pads’ like an American football player. I don’t know if these are what makes it so loud when it flies!
On another note, it was while researching these shield bugs that i discovered that many people, including one of my sister’s friends, call these ‘stink bugs’ because of the “pungent fluid exuded when the insects become alarmed” (according to my Collins Insect Guide!). We had never heard of this before and certainly never experienced any stinking from these bugs!