Location: Northern Cameroon
November 13, 2011 11:43 am
My sister recently started a two and half year appointment with the Peace Corps in Cameroon. She sent me a picture the other day of a beautiful beetle she saw in the extreme north of the country. I would really like to know what it is!
Signature: Liz M.
These beautiful insects are not beetles, but True Bugs in the order Hemiptera. They are further classified as Jewel Bugs in the family Scutelleridae. In the past, we identified this as a Lychee Shield Bug, Chrysocoris stolli, though we cannot verify that the species is correct as images that we have found online, though similar, have different markings. We are not certain if there is species variability or if several similar looking species share a common name. Jewel Bug is a commonly accepted name for the individual members of the family, many of which have bright metallic coloration. Dudu Diaries calls this beauty the Rainbow Shield Bug, but does not provide a scientific name. It seems in 2009, we received a correction from someone who identified the Rainbow Shield Bug as Calidea dregii, citing a FlickR link. We have also located a pdf entitled 2010-01_Alert_Rainbow_Shield_Bug that identifies the Rainbow Shield Bug as Calidea dregii and provides some fascinating information on the species including: “The Rainbow Shield Bug suck the sap from developing seeds leading to seeds dropping prematurely or not developing fully. In cotton it leads to staining and therefore a lower price if the bolls do not drop prematurely. The low number of mature Jatropha seeds observed in Guinea-Bissau is likely caused by seed dropping due to damage from Rainbow Shield Bugs.” Your photo illustrates a winged adult as well as some immature nymphs. Now with our new research, we need to correct our archives.