Species of the Month - August 2012
The Forest Bug is identified by the orange spot on its back and the blunt projections or "shoulders" from the corners of the thorax. Make sure it doesn't have sharp projections there, or you have the Spiny Shieldbug, a much rarer find, which I have only seen once in Argyll. There's a photo of this below left, and you can report this species using the form as well.
The Gorse Shieldbug also occurs locally, usually on Gorse or Broom, but the only photo of an adult that I have is this old one, above right. The amount of red on it can vary, but note the broad scutellum tip (the part that forms the orange spot in the Forest Bug, green in the Gorse Bug). This distinguishes it from the Birch Shieldbug. Much better pics of the Gorse Bug at http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Pentatomidae/piezodorus_lituratus.html
Here is the Birch Shieldbug, with a much narrower scutellum tip than the Gorse Bug. Like that species, the proportions of red and green vary.
only picture of the Heather Shieldbug I have is this nymph or larva.
The adult looks different (see
) but the yellow or red band on the legs is constant and is all you need
to identify this bug.
The Hawthorn Shieldbug
showing how your shieldbug
photography improves when you get a Lumix. This is like the Birch
Shieldbug but its "shoulders" stick out much further and are coloured
red, often with a black tip.
A special prize for anyone who finds the Sloe Bug. I have never seen it, but Sallie took this photo recently at Tentsmuir on the east coast. It is very rare this far north but may be lurking on the west coast somewhere. It can be found on any kind of tall herb or shrub.
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6 Aug: Gordon Jack found this Hawthorn Shieldbug on an upturned flowerpot in his garden at Onich. Photo by Sallie Jack.
15 Sep: Gordon Jack found a Forest Bug caught in a spider's web on his porch door at Onich.
17 Sep: I found a Forest Bug at Armadale on Skye.
Jul 2012 - Grayling