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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 31

NOTES ON SUFFOLK SHIELDBUGS A. C. HUBBARD Shieldbugs belong to the Heteroptera, a sub-order of Hemiptera. There are representatives of four families in the British Isles, Acanthosomidae (5 spp.), Cydnidae (9 spp.), Scutelleridae (5 spp.), and Pentatomidae (19 spp.). Of these 38 species 7 are mentioned in the Red Data Book for insects, and two have no post-1900 records. It would appear that shieldbugs, and probably bugs in general, have been a rather under recorded group of insects in Suffolk in past years. There are very few shieldbug records on file at the Biological Records Centre at Ipswich Museum. Over the past few years 17 species have been recorded in the county by the author, purely on an Opportunist basis whilst pursuing other natural history interests. Shieldbugs are so called because of their general shape. They vary in size from 3.5mm to 15mm in length. As with all bugs they have three stages to their life history, egg, larva and adult, the larval stage usually consisting of five instars. Many of the species overwinter as adults. Some are specific to certain plants whilst others occur on a ränge of trees, shrubs and low-growing Vegetation. All have sucking mouthparts, and the group contains both herbivorous and carnivorous species. The following gives details of the species recorded with notes on host plants, time of year seen and distribution, the latter based on the 10km Square. Family — Acanthosomidae Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale (Linnaeus) — Hawthorn shieldbug. Overwinters as an adult and has been recorded during January and February in mild winters. Adults observed from July through to November, usually associated with hawthorn; it has been attracted to a MV light during the autumn. TM 06; 14; 15; 16; 23; 24; 25; 34; 35; 45; 46; 47. Cyphostethus tristriatus (Fabricius) — Juniper shieldbug. Although 1 have only five records for this species, it is probably widespread in the county. Several cultivars of Juniper are available from nurseries, and three of the above records have been associated with garden conifers. TM 15; 24; 25; 34; 46. There are old records for Monk Soham T M 2 1 - 6 5 - (1941) and Elmswell T L 9 9 - 6 4 - (1948). Elasmostethus interstinctus (Linnaeus) — Birch shieldbug. Larva have been found in July and adults from August to November. Nearly all the records have been associated with birch; it has also been attracted to MV light. It is frequently seen on the coastal heaths. TM 06; 13; 14; 24; 25; 34; 35; 46; 47. TL 78.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 31 (1995)


NOTES ON SUFFOLK SHIELDBUGS

21

Elasmucha grisea (Linnaeus) — Parent bug. Adults have been noted from mid-March. A female with eggs was found on a birch leaf in mid-June at Blaxhall Common T M 3 7 - 5 6 - . Recorded through to early November prior to overwintering. Most records associated with birch, occasionally on alder, hawthorn and hazel. TM 05; 06; 14; 15; 24; 25; 35; 45; 46; 47. TL 78; 93; 98. Family — Cydnidae Legnotus limbosus (Geoffroy). Only two records, both in May. Swept from rank Vegetation on both occasions. TM 14; 35. Sehirus bicolor (Linnaeus) — Pied shieldbug. Overwinter as adults and most records occur in April and May, with a few in July and August. Mating pairs have been observed during the first half of April. Most records associated with white dead-nettle. TM 04; 05; 13; 14; 15; 24; 25; 27; 34; 35; 37; 45; 46. TL 68; 94. Family — Pentatomidae Aelia acuminata (Linnaeus) — Bishop's mitre. All records are for adults in late summer. It is frequent in the Gipping Valley, particularly in areas of dry grassland. Several have been found on the A14 roundabout at Claydon TM 1 2 ^ 9 - . TM 05; 14; 15. TL 88. Neottiglossa pusilla (Gmelin). Recorded on two occasions at Bromeswell Green nature reserve T M 2 9 - 5 0 during May. Another grassland species. Both records for an area of sea couch adj acent the R. Deben. TM 25. Old records exist for Covehithe T M 5 2 - 8 1 - (1910), Barton Mills T L 7 2 - 7 3 (1915) and Brandon T L 7 8 - 8 6 - (1936). Eysarcoris fabricii (Kirkaldy). Overwinters as an adult, most records are for May and June and mating pairs have been noted during both months. There is a streng association with hedge woundwort as well as other labiates such as black horehound and white deadnettle. It appears to be a widespread species. Latest date observed October. TM 04; 05; 06; 07; 14; 15; 24; 25; 27; 35; 46; 47; 48; 49. TL 78; 84; 85; 86; 93; 94; 95; 96.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 31 (1995)


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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 31

Palomena prasina (Linnaeus) — Green shieldbug. The majority of records are associated with coppiced woodland margins and rides. Over-wintering adults have been seen from mid-March, most other sightings occurring late summer and autumn. Frequently on hazel and hornbeam coppice as well as netties and other herbage along woodland margins. One found dead in a garden at Coddenham TM 11-54- during a mild spell in late January 1993. TM 04; 05; 06; 07; 15; 34; 35. TL 78; 84; 93. Dolycoris baccarum (Linnaeus) — Sloebug. Adults overwinter, only three records for this species in July and August, and on each occasion associated with rank Vegetation, brambles, stinging ne'ttles etc. TL 78; 88. Old records exist for Southwold TM50-78- (1935) and Eriswell TL72-78(1945). Piezodorus lituratus (Fabricius) — Gorse shieldbug. Widespread on the coast where gorse is common. Adults seen frequently on mild days during January and February. Mating pairs have been observed in late April and a female with eggs seen in mid-May. Large numbers, both adults and immatures, were seen on broom in Tunstall Forest TM38-53- August 1994 TM 05; 07; 14; 15; 23; 24; 25; 34; 35; 45; 46; 47; 58. TL98. Pentatoma rufipes (Linnaeus) — Forest bug. This is a woodland species with most records associated with oak as well as elm, birch and hazel. Overwinters as either a second or third instar larva Pairs noted mating in July; 2/3 attracted to light in Lineage Wood T L 8 8 ^ 8 - August 1984 and a record of one on a gate post along the riverbank at Boyton Marsh T M 3 8 ^ 6 - A u g u s t 1990. TM 06; 15; 34; 35; 47. TL 78; 84; 98. Picromerus bidens (Linnaeus). Overwinter as eggs. This is a predatory species — one being observed on a terva of a large elephant hawkmoth (Deilephila elpenor L.) at Blaxhall Common TM38-56- July 1983. Other records are for August to October usually associated with lush Vegetation. TM 07; 14; 24; 25; 34; 35; 46. Troilus luridus (Fabricius) Overwinters as an adult and one was found in leaf litter in Bullen Wood Bramford TM 10-45- January 1995. Adults usually seen from mid-March. All Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 31 (1995)


NOTES ON SUFFOLK SHIELDBUGS

23

records associated with birch, alder and hawthorn. TM 06; 14; 25; 35; 47. Old records exist for Bentley T M 1 1 - 3 6 - (1933), Dunwich T M 4 7 - 7 0 - (1949), Walberswick T M 4 9 - 7 4 - (1949) and Covehithe T M 5 2 - 8 1 - (1949). Rhacognathus

punctatus

(Linnaeus).

Single seen on meadowsweet growing amongst first year alder coppice at Bromeswell Green T M 2 9 - 5 0 - July 1990. Overwinters as an adult and is another predator. TM 25. Old records exist for Parsonage Heath T L 8 0 - 8 1 - (1903), Tuddenham Fen T L 7 3 - 7 1 - (1905), Dunwich T M 4 7 - 7 0 - (1949), Walberswick T M 4 9 - 7 4 (1949) and Covehithe T M 5 2 - 8 1 - (1949). Zicrona caerulea (Linnaeus) — Blue bug. Four records, two for Bromeswell Green T M 2 9 - 5 0 - ; one swept from lush Vegetation in wet meadow in September 1984, and a second found on alder coppice in May 1992 with a small beetle as prey. Other records associated with water-mint. TM 04; 05. 25. A further 10 species seen prior to 1960, and apparently not recorded since, are listed below. One of these, Odontoscelis fuliginosa is a Red Data Book species category 3; it was recorded at Felixstowe T M 3 0 - 3 4 - and Bentley TM 11—36— in the 1940's by Claude Morley. It is also mentioned in Southwood and Leston (1959) as being found in the Suffolk Breckland. Legnotus picipes (Fallen) Mildenhall T L 7 0 - 7 4 - (1921) Sehirus dubious (Scopoli) Brandon T L 7 8 - 8 6 - (1939) Tuddenham T L 7 3 - 7 1 - (1921) S. luctuosus (Mulsant & Rey) Mildenhall T L 7 0 - 7 4 - (1921) Brandon T L 7 8 - 8 6 - (1906) Elvedon T L 8 2 - 7 9 - ( 1 9 2 1 ) Worlington T L 6 9 - 7 3 - (1921) Icklingham T L 7 7 - 7 2 - (1934) Thyreocoris scarabaeoides (Linnaaeus) Herringfleet T M 4 7 - 9 7 - (1909) Odontoscelis dorsalis (Fabricius) Foxhall T M 2 2 ^ t 4 - (no date) Brandon T L 7 8 - 8 6 - (1906) Tuddenham T L 7 3 - 7 1 - (1938) Butley T M 3 6 - 5 1 - (1939) O. fuliginosa (Linnaeus) Felixstowe T M 3 0 - 3 4 - (no date) Bentley TM 1 1 - 3 6 - ( 1 9 4 2 ) Thelnetham T M 0 1 - 7 8 - (1943) Eurygaster maura (Linnaeus) Fiatford Mill T M 0 7 - 3 3 - (1953) E. testudinaria (Geoffroy) Icklingham T L 7 7 - 7 2 - (1934) Podops inuncta (Fabricius) Knettishall T L 9 7 - 8 0 - (1944) Knettishall T L 9 7 - 8 0 - (1944) Blythburgh T M 4 5 - 7 5 - (1943) Eurydema oleracea (linnaeus)

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 31 (1995)


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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 31

It is evident that considerably more recording of shieldbugs needs to be carried out to determine their distribution within the county. Many shieldbugs are associated with common plants, so it would seem logical to assume that certain species should be more widespread. Acknowledgements I thank Howard Mendel and Martin Sanford for allowing me access to the records held at the Biological Records Centre, Ipswich Museum. References Shirt. D. B„ (1987). British Red Data Books: 2. Insects. Southwood. T. R. E. & Leston. D„ (1959). Land and Water Bugs ofthe Isles. Frederick Warne. London. (Wayside & Woodland Series).

British

A. C. Hubbard, Treetops, Common Lane, Bromeswell, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 2PQ New Woodlice for Suffolk Two species of woodlice, new to Suffolk, have been found recently. The two species are Trichoniscoides sarsi and Trachelipus rathkei. T. sarsi - a small (4 mm) white woodlouse, flushed orange-pink, with red eyes - is a soil-dwelling species that may be found by turning over embedded stones. It is a synanthropic species, which until now had only been found in Kent, Leicestershire, Oxford and Dublin. T. sarsi is considered to be an old introduction to Bntain, and has been found in gardens, churchyards and nurseries. T. sarsi was found in the grounds of Otley College (TM 200540) about 30m from a glasshouse, beneath an embedded piece of concrete, on September 2Ist, 1994. Since then it has been found at a further five sites: the churchyard, Stowupland (TM 0760), December 4th, 1994; churchyard Thorndon (TM 1469), December 20th. 1994; churchyard Brundish (TM 2769), December 28th, 1994; churchyard Blythburgh (TM 4575), February 26th, 1995; a streamside. Blyford (TM 4276), February 26th, 1995. T. rathkei is a medium-sized woodlouse (15 mm) that is dark grey in colour and mottled with orange and light grey patches. This species is found from south-east England to the Midlands, in a ränge of habitats, including rough grassland, d.sused ironstone quarries and marshland, In Suffolk this species has been tound under dnft material in the flood meadow of the Little Ouse River 8th °n , " ' " 4 ' a n d a l o n S a stream-side in the River Deben flood piain at Ash Abbey (TM 315545), on March 12th, 1995. Both species are probably more widespread in Suffolk and I hope to prove this tn the future. I thank Dr. David Bilton o f t h e British Isopod Survey Group tor conhrming the T. sarsi specimens. Hopkin S. P. (1991). A Key to the Woodlice of Britain and Ireland. Field Studies Council, Aidgap Key.

Lee, P. (1993). Woodlice in Suffolk. Tran. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 29, 12. Jon Daws Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 31 (1995)

*


I o Plate 3: Gorse Shieldbug, Piezodorus lituratus F., widespread on the coast where gorse is common, (p. 22).


Plate 4: Green Shieldbug, Palomena prasina L., often associated with coppiced woodland margins and rides. (p. 22).


Plate 5: Hawthorn Shieldbug. Acanlhosoma haemorrhoidale L„ a common species feeding mainly on hawthorn. (p. 20).


<E â&#x20AC;˘C I o <t Plate 6: Juniper Shieldbug, Cyphostethus tristriatus F.. apparently spreading on exotic conifers such as Chamaecyparis. (p. 20).

Notes on Suffolk Shieldbugs  
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