Monday, February 18, 2013

Return of the inverts...

Aradidae have the common name of 'Flat Bugs' and if ever an adjective was  aptly used, surely it's right here?
Flat bugs of course refers to their extremely flat bodies...




Click any photo for a larger view

Although these bugs are fairly widely distributed across Britain and Wales, they are rarely seen as they secrete themselves under the bark of various (particularly native) deciduous trees such as oak.


The species that I found here is named Aneurus laevis and the first two pictures here are of adults of the species.

The nymphs (young) are totally different in appearance and could even be mistaken for a different species initially. Here's a photo of adult and nymph side-by-side for comparison...


And of the nymphs on their own....





I understand that there are 7 species in the U.K. and that they feed on fungi.
Cumbersome as they must look, they can actually fly as this original drawing demonstrates...


The last photo here shows a couple of nymphs at different stages of development...



With a vast improvement in the weather over the last few days,I have now been able to record several 'firsts' for 2013...by that I mean, the first example I have found of an invertebrate species this year. I'm holding my breath for this improvement to stay with us to give me time to spot a few more, that I know friends have already been lucky enough to see for themselves. 

On a sunny wall at the weekend I spotted and photographed my first salticid (Jumping spider) who was busily scooting around looking no doubt for an easy meal...



Salticus scenicus

The same day and this time in the garden, I came across my first nursery-web spider. This one was sunning itself on a wooden fence panel...





I love these common spiders with those little floppy 'ears' either side of the eyes. Somehow they seem to have very expressive faces~both this and the jumping spider are females.

Venturing further afield one day in search of inverts proved to be less successful than I'd hoped and more to the point, resulted in sore feet from wandering around in cold/wet wellington boots all day...well, probably not all day but long enough!
I did spot my first shield bug of the year though sitting on a tree in deciduous woodland. This one was Troilus luridus, a species that overwinters as an adult...



On any given day of bug hunting I always try and make time for a couple of arty style shots...





And this colourful little snail brings to an end another blog update.

Until the next time...

2 comments:

  1. Corker of an entry JJ! Just love those bark bugs! Something I've never found. Going to have to look a bit harder!
    They're all beautifully detailed shots but I have to say that I'm most envious of your Troilus sighting! Been looking for shieldbugs these last few days and failed miserably!!

    Best wishes

    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks as always...I only saw the shieldbug by accident really, I was checking fence posts for inverts and this tree was beside one of the posts and the bug just happened to be the right side of the trunk.

    ReplyDelete

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