13 Aug 2014

13 Aug 14 - Two New Dorset Shieldsbugs

One of the great advantages of getting into new Insect groups without any help, other than a field guide, is the fun when you see something new. If I need help with Butterflies or Dragonflies sites, then I have mates I can ask about the gaps. Alternatively, there are some good websites available with information about what is flying at the moment. As a result, I've been able to plan dates in advance, of particular sites or habitats to try for the next interesting Butterfly or Dragonfly & then just wait for suitable weather. But with some of the less watched Insect groups I've been trying to get into, I don't know anybody else who has looked at them. Therefore, I take the fun approach of keeping an eye out & photographing everything I don't recognise. This more laid-back approach with these groups, means I haven't worked out what habitat I should be looking in or at what time of year is the best to look. Therefore, with help I could probably head out & see a number of species quickly. Instead, I probably walk pass some common species in ignorance, but occasionally, I have a good day & get a bonus new species. In this case, it was 2 new Shieldbugs on the same day.
Sloe Bug: The purplish brown forewings, yellowish pronotum (shoulder plate behind the head) & scutellum (triangular shaped back plate) and the yellow connexivum (outer ring) with the yellow and black markings identify this species. They are found in a mixture of scrubs & tall vegetation on the edge of woods
Gorse Shieldbug: The strong rufous edges to the pronotum & the base of the forewings, identifies this as a Gorse Shieldbug. This is a freshly emerged adult. After hibernating over the Winter, they will re-emerge as adults ready to breed, but with the red faded to green. This is a fairly common species in the UK in heaths, parks and gardens, where the food plants occur (Gorse, Broom, Dyer's Green-weed, Laburnums & Clovers)