February 27, 2024

Hawthorn Shield Bug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)

Shield bug or stink bug? Our colonial cousins across the pond favour the stink but us ‘say as you see’ Brits prefer the shape reference. Either way, we must all agree that they’re pretty much shield shaped and they do smell funny.

The funny almondy smell they exude when they feel threatened, is a cyanide compound which rather predictably does deter predators. I’ve always thought it smelled rather nice and it turns out that in Laos, Pentatomid bugs from the same family as A. haemorrhoidale are mashed up with chillies and other spices and served as a tasty side dish.