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Monday, 12 October 2015

Pentatomids and pavements

On central Exeter pavements recently, for example on Queen St, I've crossed paths with a small green shieldbug ambling along, the Birch shieldbug Elasmostethus interstinctus.

Like many of the 32 UK species, these over-winter as adults. Also seen this month has been the larger Green shieldbug Palomena prasina, except in winter this turns brown. The coloration will green up next spring, as the shieldbugs start to feed on their host trees once again.

Birch shieldbug 8-11mm, looks a bit like a smaller version of the 13-15mm Hawthorn shieldbug, except the 'shoulders' on the pronotum are not so pointed and are duller red; the rear of the Hawthorn shieldbug's wing membrane is also more extensively red, whereas this is more translucently clear in the Birch shieldbug. 
 
These two species are commonly found in urban areas, in parks and gardens, sometimes seen on ivy blossom. Maybe they were in town shopping around for late nectar or winter accommodation.

Some more information is at:
http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Acanthosomatidae/e_intersinctus.html
http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Pentatomidae/palomena_prasina.html


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