Sunday, 6 October 2013

Shieldbugs, Flies, Grasshoppers and Hoverflies

Whilst ringing at Linacre yesterday the sun came out and I spent some time searching out some of the insects with Luke, my nephew. Together we found 3 shieldbug species, 3 hoverfly species, a new fly species and a couple of Field Grasshoppers. The shieldbugs were new records for me at Linacre, as was the grasshopper and one of the hoverflies. Lovely!!!

The Field Grasshopper is a common, widespread species throughout Britain (see here for details), but this is the first time I've managed to see and identify one at Linacre.

Field Grasshopper
 We also spotted this beauty, a Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana) Again, this is a common species, but my first record. More details here.
Noon Fly
 The shieldbugs were all new to me at Linacre. Here's the first one, the Common Green Shieldbug. The top photo shows the adult, and the bottom photo shows a "fourth instar" nymph. Apparently, young shieldbugs moult several times before they become adults and each time they moult, they look different. See here for pictures of the different moults.
Adult Green Shieldbug

Young Green Shieldbug
Another species we saw was the Bronze Shieldbug. This time I'm sure this individual is a "final instar nymph". See here for more images.

Bronze Shieldbug
The final shieldbug was a Hairy Shieldbug, another common and widespread species, but my first at Linacre. See here for more details.
Hairy Shieldbug
The hoverflies were a Drone Fly species (Eristalsis pertinax), a Helophilus species, most likely Helophilus pendulus and a Syrphus species. The Syrphus species is particularly tricky to identify as there are 3 very similar species that can only be separated under good magnification. Unfortunately I didn't have a hand lens with me and the hoverfly wouldn't sit still!
Drone Fly

Helophilus pendulus

Syrphus sp

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