What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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These often beautiful bugs can be readily mistaken for Pentatomidae or even beetles by the novice. Their most striking feature is the enlarged scutellum that covers most or all of the abdomen and often also the forewings.

All scutellerids feed on the juices of their plant hosts. The Cotton Harlequin Bug, Tecotocoris diophthalmus , is a pest of cotton crops in Queensland where it does doamage to the cotton boll. Other host records for the Scutelleridae include plants in the families Zygaenidae, Malvaceae, Mimosaceae, Fabaceae, Sapindaceae, Pittosporaceae, Plantaginaceae, Proteaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae and Myrtaceae.


All 4 of the recognised subfamilies are found in Australia. Scutellerinae is the largest Australian subfamily and contains most of the brightly coloured and metallic species. There are 5 genera and 13 species currently recognised. The Elvisurinae comprises 3 genera and 5 species that are mostly brown while the Odontotarsinae comprises a single genus, Morbora , with 3 species that are generally brown and white or black and white.

  • Scutelleridae (Heteroptera)

  • Tectocoris diophthalmus