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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Bugs ... and everything

Too cold at night to tempt me out trapping but a very pleasant afternoon on Thursday 1st and a brief excursion to Pilmoor.  I suppose I have developed a further interest in the site after preparing a report for Natural England who manage part of the site as a SSSI.  As I was short on time I concentrated checking the beech trees at the SE corner looking for leafmines; on the same date in 2009 I had seen a few mines of Stigmella tityrella and I wanted to repeat this and also to look for the other beech miner Stigmella hemargyrella.  Despite a thorough search of the beech I could not find any mines at all.  However I did find a shieldbug at rest on a sycamore which I photographed.
Hawthorn Shieldbug
Having got home and looked up the literature and web resources ( http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/index.html a superb site!) the bug was identified as Hawthorn Shieldbug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidella.  

Buoyed by identifying such a good-looking insect I trawled through my photos and located another three shieldbug species all for Pilmoor: Birch Shieldbug, Red-legged Shieldbug and Common Green Shieldbug, all of which are reasonably common.  It did set me thinking especially after visiting Mark Telfer's site (superb for beetles) where there was a section on pan-listing.  I did a quick tot up of the species in which I was interested and was surprised to come up with a total list of c.1700 species.  With about 73% of this made up with moths and birds with many fewer (now that's an oxymoron...) vascular plants, butterflies, mammals, fish etc., there seems to be plenty of scope for bumping the list up...if I could be really bothered ;-)