Shieldbugs have been little studied in Shropshire until very recently. Since 2009, a concerted effort has been made to map their distribution in the county, resulting in over 3000 new records. Along with a number of historical records from a range of sources, these form the basis of this new county atlas. Both true shieldbugs (Pentatomoidea) and their allies the squashbugs, leatherbugs, spurge bugs and scentless plant bugs (Coreoidea) are included.
Shropshire is a large inland county containing a great deal of habitat diversity within its boundaries. Much of the county is rural. Lowland North Shropshire, with its outstanding Meres and Mosses landscape, contrasts with uplands of the Shropshire Hills in the south. The River Severn, flowing right across the county from west to south-east, is an important ecological corridor for many animals, including shieldbugs.
This atlas is one of a number to be published examining the distribution of some of Shropshire’s invertebrate groups. The atlases follow an upsurge in entomological interest in Shropshire that has been encouraged by the Invertebrate Challenge Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.