The Great Sussex Bug Hunt

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 15 July 2018 18:45

Bugs. Picking up the slack in late summer after the beetles have abandoned us. I found myself on a site today in a fairly under-recorded area of West Sussex. Here is an example of how under-recorded it is; the last sweep I made this morning had no less than SIX shield bugs and squash bugs in it, as well as Stictopleurus punctonervosus. A quick look on the Sussex Shieldbug Atlas showed me that FIVE of these species were new records for the 10 km square!!! So there are lots of gaps to fill in, why don't you head to an area near you and get sweeping/beating? This haul was from simply sweeping Bristly Ox-tongue, Prickly Lettuce, Fleabane and Yorkshire-fog. The six species were the above Forget-me-not Shieldbug here hiding under some Round-leaved Fluellen, Sloe Bug (new), Brassic Bug below (new), Dock Bug (new), Green and Tortoise.

Speaking of tortoises, the site was thick with fleabane so I was expecting there might be some of the Nationally Rare Pilemostoma fastuosa. In fact I swept three. It's a beetle by the way, they haven't all abandoned us.

And in a little corner, a rather nice arable patch with both fluellens, Broad-leaved Spurge and Hairy Buttercup.

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