Saturday, 9 August 2008

Horehound Bug

.....Agonoscelis rutila

  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hemiptera
  • Family: Pentatomidae
  • Subfamily: Pentatominae

While up in the garden planting out some newly acquired natives, we came across these rather striking orange and black bugs. They belong to the family Pentatomidae which are often referred to as Shield bugs or Stink bugs. Most Australian species, including this one, belong to the subfamily Pentatominae. The Horehound bug is a common species and is among the most colourful of this group. It grows to around 12mm in length. They are often associated with the introduced plant Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) , hence the common name, however the insect itself is a native to Australia and also feeds on other plants.

Horehound Bugs - Agonoscelis rutila

Horehound Bug - Agonoscelis rutila

Horehound Bug - Agonoscelis rutila

Horehound Bug - Agonoscelis rutila


  1. Hi Mosura

    Excellent shots. I was just thinking (looking at the pictures first) that these chaps looked a bit like our shield bug, the one I know is green. Then I read your post properly and felt slightly smug!! These are very colourful insects though - our green one tends to try to merge in with the vegetation.

    Really looking forward to your next post. It's been a bit damp here for a few days so I have not had much chance to get out. I'll have to see if I can find some more library shots to share!

    Best wishes, Adrian

  2. Such dramatic colouring usually means that it's likely to be not good eating! I wonder if this is the case in this instance? Fabulous looking bug. I get Green Shield bugs on my runner beans which exude a weird smell if disturbed.

  3. Hi Mosura
    I think I can smell them from here!
    Great shots.

  4. What a cool looking bug Mosura. good pix of it too. mind they dont munch through all your new plants!