My daughter spotted a cluster of tiny (1 mm) bright green spherical eggs on the underside of a leaf on the sweet peas the other day. I took the leaf off and kept it in a jar in case we can find out what they hatch into, but so far nothing has happened. There are 28, arranged very tidily in a hexagonal-close-packed arrangement.

I just had a quick look and can't find any evidence of more eggs. The only minor sign of anything eating the plants is accompanied by slug trails, and the only insect I managed to find was a single greenfly.

We're in the UK, south west England.

This is more about curiosity and home learning than about pest control. I'm assuming insect of some sort but can't find anything quite right.

green insect(?) eggs

Update a couple of days later: They've just hatched (within the last few hours). I don't have a microscope at home, but combining my extension tubes and semi-macro lens for the first time I've managed to get some detail. The first instar of the green shieldbug turns out to be rather variable, and mine do indeed resemble the green kind. The empty egg looks to be an almost perfect match too.

after hatching

1 Answer 1


I think these are probably Green Shield Bug eggs, image of the eggs here https://www.animal.photos/insect4/shbg-grn.htm. Our native green shield bug is always about and doesn't usually cause a lot of damage to plants, so are usually tolerated. There is another green shield bug which has been found breeding in the south of the UK, and that can cause damage on bean crops, so whether your eggs are one or the other I'm not sure. Further info on the two types of green shield bug here https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=519

  • That seems very likely. I've seen the native type recently and think I've seen the others in the past. I don't accept instantly, but should remember tomorrow
    – Chris H
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 13:30

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