Is Juniper Shieldbug in your garden?

Formerly restricted to Juniper woods in southern England, the Juniper Shieldbug (Cyphostethus tristriatus) is now common across southern and central England, having colonised planted Junipers and Cypresses in gardens. It has also been recorded on native Juniper in northern England and Scotland. The literature indicates a recent range expansion, illustrated by finds in VC59 (South Lancashire) where there have been six records submitted to iRecord since 2014 at Widnes, Halewood, Parrs Wood, Southport (two) and now in Formby. On 27th March 2020, while indulging in a permitted exercise walk, I spotted an adult Juniper Shieldbug on a Leyland Cypress hedge adjacent to the flats where I live in Formby. Leyland Cypress and other known food plants, such as cultivated Junipers, Lawson’s and Nootka Cypresses, are not infrequent in gardens, providing an opportunity during the current Covid-19 “lockdown” to extend the known distribution of this attractive insect. At this time of year, adults are emerging from hibernation and may be found on the sunny, sheltered side of the relevant conifers.

Visit the British Bugs website for more information about the species

Adult Juniper Shieldbug – Formby – 27 March 2020 – Phil Smith