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(shield bugs), a superfamily of the order Hemiptera, including the families Pentatomidae, Scutelleridae, Cydnidae, and Plataspidae. The round or oval body is 1.6 to 41 mm long and is covered with a large shield extending to the front third of the abdomen or covering the abdomen completely. The insects feed on the vegetative and, especially, generative organs of plants. Species of the subfamily Asopinae feed on other insects. Of the approximately 4,000 species, about 350 occur in the USSR. Some species are injurious to agricultural crops. The grain pentatomoidea, especially Eurygaster integriceps and Aelia, are injurious to cereals. Species of the genus Eurydema attack vegetable crops, and Nezara viridula damages cotton and other plants.