Could it be a shield bug?

A few weeks ago we posted a blog asking if anyone could identify a little beetle we had filmed and photographed on our Wildflower Turf back in September.
Here is a reminder of what the bug looked like…

Thanks to David Plunton from Dean Rural Services we now believe that it is a shield bug! David thinks that it is a Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus literatus) to be precise. David is investigating further to confirm his theory.
It would seem that this is actually the shield bug nymph and not the adult shield bug, which incidentally looks quite different.
Did you know…Although shield bugs resemble beetles, they differ because they have sucking mouthparts instead of mandibles.
How may species are there? In Britain there are 4 different families of Shieldbug;

This means that the number of species that can be found in the UK is about 45…worldwide however, there may be over 5000 species!
Unlike butterflies and moths which undergo ‘complete’ metamorphosis, shield bugs hatch from the egg as small simple forms of the adult.
In order to accommodate a larger body size, they have to molt their outer exoskeleton.  With each molt they take on some of the adult characteristics, before they actually become fully formed adults. They undergo four molts before they become adults.
All in all, these are rather fascinating little bugs!