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 Boxelder Bug. The 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. These bugs feed on plant juices from a variety of species and are at home in fields, shrubby areas, and woody edges in wet or dry habitats.
Photo by Kristi DuBois on 5/26/20 on Mount Jumbo near Missoula, MT