Skip to content

Archive for

Hawthorn Sheildbug

Hawthorn Shieldbug, Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale

Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale

I found this splendid little chap in my garden. It’s an adult Hawthorn Shieldbug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale a member of the Hemiptera an order of insects most often known as the true bugs. It will overwinter as an adult, often darkening before hibernation and will emerge again in the Spring.

The antennae in Hemiptera are typically five-segmented, although they can still be quite long, as can be seen in this photo.

Hemipterans have sucking/piercing mouthparts. The mandibles and maxillae are sheathed within a modified labium to form a ‘beak’ or ‘rostrum’ called a proboscis. This sharply pointed tube is capable of piercing plant tissues and is used to suck out the liquids – typically sap. When the proboscis is not being used it is folded flat against the underside of the body.

The young are called nymphs and resemble the adults to a degree although they are often mistaken as other insects.

Ashley Wood has produced a series of illustrations showing the life stages of a range of UK shield bugs, which is particularly useful for identifying the immature nymphs and the various instars.

Check it out here.

 

Advertisements

Three cats

Vapourer Moth caterpillar, Orgyia antiqua

Orgyia antiqua

Recently I set off to look for the Ivy Bee Collettes hederae, no luck but as soon as I crossed the river I found this spectacular looking caterpillar. It’s the larva of the Vapourer Moth Orgyia antiqua which are sometimes called Rusty Tussock Moths. The males, which can sometimes be found flying during the day, are a rich chestnut brown colour and have two distinctive white spots on the wings. The female is unusual in that she is completely wingless and resembles an overweight furry grey grub. There’s more info and images here on the excellent UK Moths website.

Read more