One of the more noticeable features of a “true bug” (order Hemiptera) is a triangular piece of the thorax, called the scutellum. Maybe you’ve seen this triangle on the familiar Western Box Elder Bug. A Shield-backed Bug’s scutellum is not a triangle, instead it covers the entire back of the insect, concealing four membranous wings. If it wants to fly, it has to lift it like the trunk of a car to allow the wings to expand. This species feeds on plant juices from various sedges (Carex) and rushes (Juncus) and are at home in weeds, sedges, and swampy meadows as well as dry habitats. They will overwinter as adults.
Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 9/20/20 in Missoula, MT