Jewel Bugs (Family Scutelleridae) have broad rounded bodies with an undivided shield covering the whole abdomen. Jewel bugs get their common name from their bright colours. Jewel Bugs have the scutellum expanded to cover the whole abdomen and both pairs of wings, leading to their other common name, Shield-backed Bugs. Australian jewel bugs suck plant sap and feed on a broad range of seeds, either while they are still attached to the plant, or after they have fallen to the ground.
In Australia, some are known as Harlequin Bugs, a common name used for several other sorts of bugs elsewhere in the world. There are 25 Australian species of jewel bugs in the Family Scutelleridae. The Hibiscus Harlequin Bug, Tectocoris diophthalmus, sucks sap from hibiscus plants, bottle trees and related species. Its main foodplant is the native Beach Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus). It is also a minor pest of cultivated cotton, a member of the hibiscus family Malvaceae, leading to its other common name, the Cotton Harlequin Bug. In our garden it was feeding on a native hibiscus bush.
This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.