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Monday, 4 November 2013

Shield Bugs & Other Insects - October, 2013

In past posts I've shown some macro shots of shieldbugs. In our front garden, on a solitary sunflower, we had a pair of Common Green Shieldbugs. At the time of discovery, these were at the 5th instar stage - the last before adulthood. I don't know what I was expecting to happen (I guess something akin to pupation before adulthood), but I was quite surprised to find that one day they were 5th instars and the next day they were both adult.

Here's a reminder of what the fifth instar was like:-

Common Green Shieldbug (5th instar) - our garden
- and this is what they looked like the day after they were last seen as a 5th instar:-


Common Green Shieldbug (teneral adult) - our garden
I'm not sure that the transition was complete in the above two images as it rather looks as if the wings are not fully developed and free. Three days later they looked like this:-

Common Green Shieldbug (adult) - our garden
I'd read that these bugs turn darker as winter approaches and they set themselves up for hibernation. This happened, and this image was taken on 24th October. They disappeared shortly afterwards.

Common Green Shieldbug (adult prior to hibernation) - our garden
In September I'd found a teneral Birch Shieldbug down my shirt! Here's a reminder of what it looked like. ed. - Maria has pointed out that my identification of this bug is incorrect (thank you Maria!) - it is, in fact, a teneral Hawthorn Shieldbug. The subsequent image is, however, correctly identified as a Birch Shieldbug.

Birch Hawthorn Shieldbug (teneral adult) - our garden
On 5th October a mature adult Birch Shieldbug appeared on our conservatory window:-

Birch Shieldbug (mature adult) - our garden
Sorry that this is a poor image, but it was a very dull day. If it had been a brighter day, this next image might have been rather better, but I'll show it anyway as there's probably not too many images anywhere of one of these in flight! I found the colouration and body shape to be surprising.

Birch Shieldbug (mature adult) - our garden
I thought that September was going to be my last month of macro photography, but whilst showing the shieldbugs I might as well include a couple of other images.

The first is of a Drinker Moth caterpillar.

Drinker Moth caterpillar - my 'local patch'
The second is of a Caddisfly (known as a 'sedge' to fishermen) on the car windscreen.

Caddisfly - Eyebrook Reservoir
I'm not expecting any macro images for November - but then I wasn't for October, so who knows!!

14 comments:

  1. Brilliant Macro images Richard,love the sharp detail on the Caddisfly.
    Wonderful post.
    John.

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    1. Thank you John. I'm not over-happy with the Caddisfly image because of it's not in a 'natural' location.

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  2. I cann't believe I've seen the Drinker Moth caterpillar on here I actually came across one crawling across the patio on Sunday, the dogs kept barking at it, I took a rather dubious photo of it to get an id and then put it in the hedge it was heading for (didn't fancy the dogs chewing it) I think it came from the wooded area near me, no need now. The shield bugs are fantastic and I like the flight shot. The caddisfly is cool too.

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    1. What an amazing coincidence, Doug! I'm not sure when my previous sighting of a Drinker Moth caterpillar was, but it must have been a few years ago.

      Thanks for your kind comments - Richard

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  3. Richard these Macros images are great but the drinker Moth Caterpillar is just so beautiful, while the Cadisfly detail is superb.

    Shield bugs are cute things

    Great post Richard

    Dave

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Dave.

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  4. Wow! You are a photographer of distinction. Great images here.

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  5. Some cool info and images mate, you are a mine of information too!!

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  6. Richard, I really enjoyed all these images! Wonderful detail! These are all new species for me, although we have some shieldbugs that are similar.

    Very nice work!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Wally.

      I'm pleased to say that I've now figured out how to follow your own inspiring blog!

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  7. Cracking series of shots! Love the series with the green shieldbugs from final instar through to adult.
    The teneral shieldbug is actually a Hawthorn shieldbug (completely green scutellum plus the pronotum is more 'pointed' than that of the Birch) as can be seen by the next image of the Birch shieldbug who's pronotum is more rounded and the scutellum has a reddish blush. This website is the best there is when it comes to the Heteroptera: http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/gallery.html

    Best wishes

    Maria

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    1. Thank you, Maria, for your kind words, the correction to my identification of the Hawthorn Shieldbug, and for pointing me at the British Bugs website - all very much appreciated! Will now edit this post.

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