Forest bug

Forest Bug

Forest Bug ©Philip Precey

Forest bug

Scientific name: Pentatoma rufipes
The shoulders of the Forest bug are distinctive - they are square-cut, almost rounded, unlike the other 'spiked' shield bugs. This bug can be found in woodlands, feeding on the sap of oak trees.

Species information


Length: 1.1-1.4cm

Conservation status


When to see

June to November


At first glance, the Forest bug appears similar to the other 'spiked' shield bug species; however, its distinctive shoulders are squarely cut and rounded at the front, rather than being pointed. It is also found in different habitats to other shield bugs: the Forest Bug is mainly herbivorous, feeding on the sap of deciduous trees, particularly oaks growing along sheltered woodland edges or in clearings. This species overwinters as a nymph, the adults are present from July to November, and the eggs are laid in August.

How to identify

The Forest bug is one of three brown shield bugs with shoulder 'spikes'. It is best identified by its square-cut shoulders and black-and-cream-chequered flanks. It has orangey-red legs.



Did you know?

The Forest bug is also known as the Red-legged shield bug due to its orangey-red legs and antennae.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting, ride maintenance and non-intervention all help woodland wildlife to thrive. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to surveying for woodland plants.