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shield bug brood

Lyramorpha cf. maculifer


A "giant shield bug" (Family Tessaratomidae) demonstrating brooding behavior with recently hatched nymphs. "Nymphs usually undergo four to five successive stages of moltings, increasing in size and becoming more adult-like with each stage until the final molting. The stages are individually known as instars, with the earliest stage (just after hatching) being known as the first nymphal instar." Nymphs may also differ significantly from adults in colors and patterns exhibited. In some species, nymphs often exhibit strikingly vibrant colors in contrast to the relative drabness of adults. The colors can also vary between instars.


This spotting on goldfussia (Strobilanthes sp.) hedge vegetation a large semi-urban yard & garden next to a disturbed patch of remnant forest. This is in the equatorial tropics on northern New Guinea.


It appears that August is the season for this species to reproduce. See the August 2011 brood spotting of a specimen of this species from almost the exact same spot: This brood was monitored and photographed every day from 9 August through 14 August 2012 when it dispersed. This series documents the change from 1st to 2nd instar, in descending/reverse order.

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42 Comments (1–25)

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Thanks Karen!

KarenL 8 years ago

Wonderful series Scott!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Thanks Daniele & surekha!

surekha 8 years ago

How beautiful! Great captures!

DanielePralong 8 years ago

Bye babies! The change from 1st to second instar is nicely visible. Great work Scott!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Well today is the last installment in this series. Why? Because the new 2nd instar nymphs (making their appearance yesterday -- see 2nd photo) have begun dispersing! And the ever diligent mother has retired from her post.

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Thanks Sumukha Javagal!

Sumukha Javagal
Sumukha Javagal 8 years ago

Awesome series..! Loved each and every frame..:-)

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Thanks so much Jeanette, Rob, Sachin, Luis & EugelBratinella!

EugelBratinella 8 years ago

amazing! great pics :)

LuisStevens 8 years ago

Great series

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 8 years ago


Jeannette 8 years ago

Great spotting and series :)

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Wow, thanks so much Neil and Laura! It's great fun and enlightening to document this process!

LauraMaria 8 years ago

Wow, awesome! Great series, Scott, this is definitely a great use of Project Noah - both to show the parenting skills of insects and how the babies develop! Such an insightful spotting

NeilDazet 8 years ago

That's really cool Scott. What a great spotting!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

What a difference a day makes! Compare yesterday's photo to today's. I told you it wouldn't be long! A new instar

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Thanks Jolly!

Jolly Ibañez
Jolly Ibañez 8 years ago

Very nice series. Good brooding behavior.

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Thanks U1151994!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

OK, today's photo is up! Despite a heavy downpour, Mom didn't abandon her post. The nymphs are showing more aposematic red. It won't be long now until they completely change!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Thanks Satyen & Oneng!

Wild Things
Wild Things 8 years ago

Lovely series Scott!

OnengDyah 8 years ago


Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 8 years ago

Today's photo has been added to the front. See the dates at the bottom of the frame.

Scott Frazier
Spotted by
Scott Frazier


Spotted on Aug 9, 2012
Submitted on Aug 9, 2012

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