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Shchitonoska

Shchitonoska

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2023-07-18 Snargl 0 minute 0 second

What is the animal Shchitonoska known for?

Shchitonoska is a common name for a group of beetles that belong to the subfamily Cassidinae.
They are known for their shield-shaped bodies, which are covered by their enlarged and flattened elytra (wing covers).
They use their shields to protect themselves from predators and parasites, and to camouflage themselves among the plants they feed on.
Some species of shchitonoska also secrete a sticky substance that covers their eggs and larvae, making them less vulnerable to attacks.
Shchitonoska are mostly herbivorous, feeding on various plants.
Some species can be pests of crops, while others can be beneficial by controlling weeds.
Shchitonoska are widely distributed in Africa, Asia, North America, and Australia, and have more than 400 species.

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What does the Shchitonoska look like?

Shchitonoska is the Russian name for a type of beetle that belongs to the family Chrysomelidae, also known as leaf beetles.

There are more than 400 species of shchitonoska, which are characterized by their shield-shaped pronotum and elytra (the front part of the thorax and the wing covers).

The body is flat from below and convex from above, and the length ranges from 5.5 to 7 mm.

The coloration varies depending on the species, but usually it is yellowish-green, brown, or black, with or without spots or stripes.

The head is hidden under the overhanging pronotum and is not visible from above.

The antennae are short and thick.

The legs are yellow or brown.

Shchitonoska are found in some regions of Africa, Asia, North America, and Australia.

In Eurasia, they are widely distributed in the north, the Caucasus, the Far East, China, and Japan.

They live on meadows, yards, gardens, and parks, and feed on plants from the aster family, such as burdock, thistle, ragwort, cornflower, and tansy.

They are not harmful to cultivated plants, but they can help control the growth of some invasive weeds, such as common ragweed, which is an allergen.

Shchitonoska are very cautious and slow-moving: in case of danger, they press close to the leaf, blending in with it, or fall to the ground and hide among the grass.

The larvae are also well-camouflaged, hiding under the curled tips of the plants.

Shchitonoska have a seasonal life cycle.

The adults emerge from hibernation in spring, feed for a while, and then mate.

The females lay eggs on the host plants in groups of 5 to 15, covering them with a secret that hardens in the air, forming a capsule.

The eggs hatch in mid-June, and the larvae feed on the leaves for about a month.

Then they pupate, and the new adults emerge in late August.

They soon go into hibernation in a cushion of dry grass and fallen leaves.

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