Monday, 3 September 2007

Bugs and the biggest fly around

As well as the moths that my traps are designed to capture, there are also a few bugs and other insects that appear. The Forest Bug (Pentatoma rufipes), above, is a species of shield bug in the family Pentatomidae. It can be distinguished from other shield bugs by its square shoulders. It looks like it's wearing American football players padding. Adults are seen between June and October. It is an omnivorous bug that sucks juice from buds, leaves and fruits and attacks other insects.

The Birch Shield Bug (Elasmostethus interstinctus) is quite similar to some other species of Shield Bug. The amount of red varies from individual to individual. Usually the animals are darker (brownish red) in winter. Reaching a length of some 9 to 11 mm, the size is that of many other shield bugs. The adults of this species appear in September and overwinter.. Adults love low bushes, preferably in the sun shine. Larvae are found mainly on Birch.

A Hornet Robberfly (Asilus crabroniformis) was a visitor, not to a moth trap but to the bath room. Pam caught if for me to identify but unfortunately as I photographed it, it suddenly flew off, without me capturing its image. The photo above if of one in the Paddock near the monument and was taken by Nigel Jarman. This large and spectacular fly, about 2.5 cm long, is normally found in unimproved grassland and heath in southern England and Wales. However, these habitats have shown significant decline in range and quality in recent years, with fragmentation enhancing the difficulties facing this insect. The fly`s larvae are believed to prey on the larvae of large dung beetles and the adult flies feed on a variety of insects, including grasshoppers, dung beetles and flies. As such, it requires suitable grassland sward to support its prey community.

1 comment:

tut-tut said...

Impressive photos. Thanks for posting them.