First record of rare shield bug for East Sussex!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday 17 April 2013 13:17

Here is a map of all the records of Canthophorus impressus that have been recorded in the UK since 1990. Many thanks to Tristan Bantock for letting me use these maps, If you haven't seen Tristan's website, British Bugs, then take a look. So suddenly my record at Southerham on Sunday is more significant. Being the first in Sussex since at least 1905 and the the first ever in East Sussex. It's also the furthest east since 1990 and is considerably east of what appears to be a species that is contracting in range, especially the east of its range. Take a look at the pre-1990 records!
Although I couldn't see any Bastard-toadflax there on Sunday, it is known from the site (thanks to Frances Abraham for the info). I will go back during the flowering period and have a look for it. It's scattered throughout Sussex so it will be worth looking for the bug elsewhere (Mount Caburn and Beachy Head for example). This might not be the most easterly record. Tristan also told me that he has assessed this species as 'Near Threatened' under the new IUCN criteria. So here is the beast again.
Bugs are my 15th most frequently posted label. So I figured it was about time I pulled together my shield bug list. Of the 33 shield bugs listed in Evans and Edmonson I have seen 19 (plus nymphs of one of the Odontoscelis species at Lakenheath last March). Of the ten squash bugs, I have seen four. Here are a few that have featured on my blog over the last three years in reverse order of appearance.
Box Bug. One of the squash bugs with their 'brick-like' texture. Now widespread, this was outside reception at Woods Mill.

Turtle Shieldbug. So far the only one I have ever seen was under a log last spring at Southerham.

Woundwort Shieldbug. Common enough in the right places.

New Forest Shieldbug. I only saw this because I saw a load of people with nets by the side of the road and stopped! It pays to be cheeky!

Juniper Shieldbug. I have seen this only at Levin Down.

Gorse Shieldbug.

Slender-horned Leatherbug. Only ever seen this once under a log on the edge of the Thames at Rainham.

Spiked Shieldbug. I see this occasionally on heathland.

Parent Bug

Red-legged (or Forest) Shieldbug

Dock Bug

Oh, I forgot. Of course I have FIVE squash bugs. The one that is NOT in Evans and Edmonson. The Western Conifer Seed Bug!

4 Response to "First record of rare shield bug for East Sussex!"

Tristan Bantock Says:

Excellent work Graeme, would be great if you could track down this species at other sites in Sussex.

I think you can safely count your Odontoscelis nymphs from Lakenheath as O. lineola; O. fuliginosa is certainly not present in the Brecks any more (and probably never was).

Gibster Says:

Great news re the Bastard Toadflax Shieldbug! But the post-1990 map is inaccurate. I had one at Portland Bill a few years back and Martin Cade has a pic of one from 2008 (see I hadn't realised quite how rare it was getting! I've only ever seen the foodplant at Epsom Downs, Surrey. The bug I found at Portland was under a flat rock at The Bill area itself.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Well these maps are only ever as accurate as our recording keeping and the systems that pull all these records together. I don't see why we can't record straight into a database on top of up to date aerial photos as we survey. Would save so much time. Tristan, thanks for the comments and for adding another species to my list!

Lucy and Caroline Says:

Just found one of these little fellas in my home. Can they fly? It appeared to be producing a vibrating sound.. never seen anything like it! I took a few snaps of him before he disappeared from my garden. This post really helped me identify what he was so thank you! :)

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