Sunday 9 September 2012

Bug heads

Dead heading is one of the rules of gardening, isn't it? You are told to remove the faded flowers so that seeds don't form, as they extract lots of energy from the plant. But what will you miss? you want to look at seedheads. In a walk around my local wildlife garden I found that meadow cranesbill's seedheads were busy with shieldbugs of several species, feeding on them. Among the bugs there were some striking black and red ones (above), which I had never seen before, they were very flighty and the light conditions were not right, but I managed some shots. Upon looking into the British Bugs site I identified them as Corizus hyoscyami a species that during the last decade has expanded throughout England from a few coastal locations in Wales, another species that, according to the NBN gateway, wasn't known to have crossed the Humber before.
Corizus hyoscyami feeding on developing cranesbill seeds
Nymph Green Shieldbug, Palomena prasina
Rhopalus subrufus, one of the most abundant today
The first Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina adult of the year
Likely Corizus hyoscyami nymph. Thank you to Dave who identified it in a comment.
Dolycoris baccarum Hairy Shieldbug

This dark Forest Bug, Pentatoma rufipes, had a ride home on my trousers 

I must remember to leave my geranium seedheads for next year, as true bugs (hemiptera) are one of my favourite insects. One job less to do, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy bugs.


RayHolden said...

I totally agree!
I find that buddlija seedheads are great feeding grounds for shieldbugs (particularly Hairy Shieldbugs).

I'm impressed and envious of your find of Corizus hyoscyami - I've yet to find them in Yorkshire.

Phopalus subrufus, - looks like Rhopalus subrufus to me :)

I'm a bit stumped on your nymph - sorry!

(On 2 September, I was quite amazed to find an early instar Pentatoma rufipes..), at the same time that the adults are in the egg-laying stage.


Africa Gomez said...

I was expecting you'd comment Ray! I always deadhead my buddleias because I want a second flush of flowers, but I might leave more on the bush now. I thought the nymph might be a Corizus too, but the photo in British Bugs looks different.

Africa Gomez said...

Ray, could it be a nymph of Rhopalus subrufus? It is a poor picture at an odd angle.
The Corizus hyoscyami are great, they do these little jump-flights to move about. I think I would have to wait a much longer time until Pyrrhocoris apterus gets here, it is one of those childhood bugs...

RayHolden said...

You just need more buddleias!

Your nymph certainly looks Rhopalidae to me, but which one?

British Bugs is brilliant - but both Tristan and Joe would agree it is still incomplete. Many nymph stages are not yet documented.
I'll dig around.

RayHolden said...

It could well be R. subrufus. A fine bug.

You may not have to wait all that long for P. apterus, I found Eremocoris fenestratus in Rotherham earlier this year .


Dave said...

I think the nymph is likely to be Corizus hyoscyami. I found a batch of eggs 25 days ago that I think are Corizus hyoscyami. I have been rearing the eggs to make sure. I have some young Corizus hyoscyami not yet as advanced as in your image. But my research about them makes me think your image looks right for them.
Regards Dave Monk

Africa Gomez said...

Thank you Dave for commenting. It has been a poor year for hemiptera this year, re-reading this post reminds me of this. I will update the post.