Beetles & Bugs of Wivenhoe
With the stag beetle season just about upon us, I thought it worth pointing out that other beetles are available! OK, none are as large as the staggies, but many are very strikingly coloured, and often seen in daylight. Here are a few I have photographed in recent days, together with a bug (a true bug, with sucking mouthparts, rather than the generic term 'bug' as used for any insect)
Cockchafer (aka Maybug) - large and nocturnal, unless you see them at an outside light (or moth trap!), all you are likely to see is them flying around at dusk, often becoming the focus of feeding large bats
A soldier beetle Cantharis rustica, largely red and blackish red, with a distinctive black spot in the middle of its thorax. Often to be seen adopting this piggyback posture!
A flower beetle Oedemera nobilis which is often seen in open flowers munching pollen. This one is female: the males have conspicuously swollen segments at the top of their hind legs. But the metallic green colour, and wing cases which don't meet down the middle are features of both sexes.
Harlequin ladybird - a little larger and more variable than most ladybirds (hence its name), and its red colour usually more ruby than the tomato ketchup red of other species. This is the Far Eastern invader which caused so much concern a few years ago as a result of its ladybirdivorous habits; it seems that the fears of ladybird Armageddon may have been unfounded as there are other species still around, albeit at least one species' decline has been circumstantially attributed to the attentions of the Harlequin
A cardinal beetle Pyrochroa serraticornis, often seen on fallen logs, along with is close relative Pyrochroa coccinea, which has a black not a red head
A true bug Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus, which feeds by sucking the juices out of plant cells, seeds and probably aphids.
Do post any shots of known or unknown insects and we will try to identify them for you.