Bugs, borders and bugs with borders

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 20 April 2019 13:54

Bob Foreman and the SxBRC have updated the excellent Sussex Shield Bug Atlas with all our records. I have done a wee bit of analysis to show how much things have changed in the last year. It surprised me just how much better recorded shield bugs (and allies) are now we have the atlas. It's already out of date though, as yesterday I recorded Bordered Shieldbug Legnotus limbosus new to my home 1 km square as I was walking to the shops. Here is a rubbish phone shot.

Oh and here (and the top photo) are shots I took of one I collected in the suction sampler from Levin Down this week, first record there since 1997. You can see the detail on the clypeus here that separates it from the scarcer Lengotus picipes.

Anyways, back to the analysis.

Here is the overview before

And after the update

First off, the total number of species per 10 km square rose by over 10% from 15.7 to 17.3, That's pretty cool. Around 63% of 10 km squares showed increased species-richness of shield bugs.

The total number of records per 10 km square rose by nearly 22% from 80.8 to 98.3. That's really impressive. Around 90% of 10 km squares showed some level of shield bug recording in the last year. The biggest jump was in the most recorded square which went from from 676 to 777 records over the last year.

The most species-rich 10 km squares now contain 31 species, these being around Hastings and immediately north of Hastings. I wonder if this is mainly due to Derek Binns? Can we beat 31 species I wonder? The biggest jump is the square in the far north west of West Sussex where the partial square bordering Hampshire went from two species to 13 species in the last year. Who is recording in this part of the world I wonder?

Have a look at the rise of the Western Conifer Seedbug. It's now been recorded in nearly as many squares as Green Shieldbug and Dock Bug and has already been recorded in two more squares than Hairy Shieldbug?! Partly this is down to its striking appearance, people love to record it on iRecord!

I leave you with one of my favourites, the Rhombic Leatherbug which I have added new to the square containing East Head already this year. Happy shieldbug recording! By the way I am thinking of year listing Heteroptera next year as I have had so much fun doing the spiders if anyone is up for it.

1 Response to "Bugs, borders and bugs with borders"

Hilary Melton-Butcher Says:

Hi Graeme - it's amazing how scientists are creating such valuable resources, and records, for yourselves as well as the public. The Sussex Shield Bug Atlas is a wonderful resource - congratulations to you all - cheers Hilary

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