David Element

 

Wildlife Photography and Digital Video Images

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Bugs 10 – Ornate Shieldbugs

 

 

 

A insect on the grass

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A insect on the ground

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A insect on the ground

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A insect on the ground

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A insect on the ground

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A insect on the ground

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A insect on the ground

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A insect on the ground

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A small insect on a branch

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata

 

A picture containing animal, bird, sitting, small

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata (nymph)

 

A picture containing object, honeycomb, small, yellow

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata (nymph)

 

A close up of an insect on a branch

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata (nymph)

 

A close up of an animal

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ORNATE SHIELDBUG Eurydema ornata (emerging first instar nymphs)

 

·         The continental Ornate Shieldbug Eurydema ornata has been beginning to colonise in the UK recently. This very handsome insect has several different colour morphs as will be evident from this series of photographs and some of these may be related to maturity or the time of year. The first image of a very striking scarlet and black female is notable for having been taken at a well-known site on the North Downs in 2016. It was only the second ever record for the Vice-county but sadly the exact spot where she was seen was subsequently ‘strimmed’ down to ground level by the representatives of a conservation organisation as the wardens claimed that the vegetation had been obstructing the visibility from one of their Land Rovers on a curve and the photographer has been unable to relocate this bug ever since. Given the distance from any human habitation it would seem very likely that she had arrived there without any artificial assistance. Surely, a simple toot on the horn would have sufficed! The red, cream and black variant is particularly beautiful. A partial life-history has been included at the end of the sequence and the remaining photographs were taken in France and Portugal. Although not observed it is probable that the emerging first instar nymphs would have consumed their own eggshells as easy protein sources are rarely ignored in nature. If this bug does become established inland, then the most likely route would be on plant products that have managed to evade biosecurity measures. It is perhaps most likely to colonise the London suburbs as the microclimate is comparatively warm and other European bugs have already set a precedent.

 

·         David’s short film of the Surrey Ornate Shieldbug may be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LSPo2SoxZ8&list=PL4AirIEc0NoeuL9e36qZC-CQ0yX0XC7QZ&index=82&t=0s.

 

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