Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sloe Bugs

My old friend Pete finally took me to see his 'new' woods out near Heathfield today. It was a beautiful morning and during a beating of the bounds I noticed these two up to no good on some old Marsh Thistle heads. There isn't much sexual dimorphism but from their behaviour when first seen I'll wager one's a male and the other female. 
They are Sloe Bugs, Dolycoris baccarum, although they are usually not found on Blackthorn (sloe) but rather on a wide range of plants, with an apparent predilection for Rosaceae.
Besides the chequerboard markings, the identification is clinched by their hirsute nature (zoom in on the image) and black and white antennae.  

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