Nymph maniac

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday, 11 July 2018 07:18

This year I have been carrying out an invertebrate survey of Shoreham Beach LWS on behalf of the Friends of Shoreham Beach and on the 30th June I carried out another visit. I was shocked at how much the vegetation looked like the Mediterranean but it was full of stuff. The bugs were quite good fun and it was really nice checking them against the new Sussex Shieldbug Atlas. In fact I had three species from the atlas new to the 10 km square and one of those was new to me!

I'll start with my favourite shown above, the delightfully weird nymph of the Rhombic Leatherbug Syromastus rhombeus. This is always a pleasure to see and I think it's the first time I have recorded the nymph before.

I even managed a bit of footage of it.

Next up was this stick insect of a bug which I swept at the time as the Rhombic Leatherbug. It's not that scarce but was a lifer for me, Chorosoma schillingi. Now it looks like a grass bug but it's not actually a mirid, it's a rhopalid bug! It's also huge! Not entirely sure if this blurred image is of a nymph or a micropterous female in hindsight. As I swept a male in the same net I am guessing it's a female. It needs an English name this one. I propose Dune Stick-insect!

This nymph wasn't new to the 10 km square but was new to the site. It's Denticulate Leatherbug Coriomeris denticulatus nymph. I think this is probably the commonest squash bug after Dock Bug (if you don't use a sweep net you'll probably say Box Bug though). I see it on dry grasslands quite frequently.

The third species new to the 10 km square was the Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug Aelia acuminata but I didn't get a photo of that one. Other highlights included a few Garden Tiger larvae!

And lots of a spider I expected to find there. Sitticus inexpectus, a nationally scarce shingle specialist. It's known from the site but the record has no date!

This survey was funded by the Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation and Tesco Bags of Help. Thanks to Jackie Woolcock and Lois Mayhew at the SxBRC for their support during this survey, I look forward to the next visits! It's really nice to tie this freelance work up with the new shieldbug atlas. 

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