David Element

 

Wildlife Photography and Digital Video Images

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Bugs 7 Box Bugs

 

 

A insect on the ground

Description automatically generated

 

BOX BUG Gonocerus acuteangulatus

 

A insect on the ground

Description automatically generated

 

BOX BUG Gonocerus acuteangulatus

 

A close up of some grass

Description automatically generated

 

BOX BUG Gonocerus acuteangulatus

 

A insect on the ground

Description automatically generated

 

BOX BUG Gonocerus acuteangulatus

 

A picture containing animal, sitting, green, small

Description automatically generated A picture containing small, sitting, green, bird

Description automatically generated

 

BOX BUG Gonocerus acuteangulatus (nymph) BOX BUG Gonocerus acuteangulatus (nymph)

 

         The Box Bug Gonocerus acuteangulatus has recently begun to spread its geographical range in the UK in response to anthropogenic global warming, having formerly been restricted to a small area of the North Downs in Surrey (hence the vernacular name). This squashbug (or leatherbug) bears a superficial resemblance to the Dock Bug Coreus marginatus but the body is narrower and the projections on the pronotum are pointed and as inferred by the specific name acutely angled. The impact on this bug of the recent arrival of the invasive Asian Box-tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis, a large Pyralid (micro) moth with two distinct colour forms, the larvae of which feed voraciously on Box Buxus spp. hedges remains to be seen. As the bug has broadened its range of food-plants recently it may not be as badly impacted as might otherwise have been the case. On the Continent the larvae of the moth have been causing major damage to ornamental gardens and much the same has been happening recently in the UK. There is some natural predation but simply not enough to counter the deleterious effect of this pest species. The final two photographs illustrate the green and brown final instar nymph of the Box Bug.

 

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David Element