Stink Bug

Green Shield Beetle

A close up photo of my gardening pants.  I was amazed at how the Green Shield Beetle changes colour to match the autumn.  They are bright shiny green when they emerge in May and change over the months until they are completely brown by November.  A very sophisticated camouflage strategy at work.

It is not really a beetle at all.  It is from a family called “true bugs”.  I know lots of insects are called “bugs” in North America, but it is not a common usage in Ireland or Britain.  So calling an insect a Bug in Ireland is being very specific.

Some shield bugs are called Stink Bugs because they engage in chemical warfare, releasing strong smelling odours to deter predators.  Some of the odours are attractive to humans, smelling of coriander or almond.  As a result stink bugs are a delicacy in some countries in indochina.  They are ground into a condiment paste with chili, spices and herbs.  I have even seen a recipe for Chicken Liver Paté which uses Stink Bugs as an ingredient.

The Fly; by William Blake

Little Fly,
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink, and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.