On day 128 of 365 Days Wild I decided to spend some time hunting for bugs in the meadow. The first thing that I spotted was a Hairy Shieldbug (pictured above), sitting on a leaf. I’ve seen quite a few of these around this year and recognised it straight away.
Once I started looking for mini beasts, I soon realised just how many of them there still were around. In particular, there were rather a lot of Dock Bugs hiding amongst the longer growth left at the edge of the meadow after mowing. I was fortunate enough to spot not only adult bugs, but also one in the final instar stage of growth.
There were also quite a few spiders in the long growth, though most of them scurried off as soon as they realised I was present. Even when they did stay in place I could rarely get close enough for a clear shot without disturbing them, making the pictures impossible to identify from.
Usually being unable to identify a spider wouldn’t be a problem. They’re the one creepy-crawley that continues to set off my phobia. I find it hard to photograph them and, bizarrely, even harder to search through pictures of different species in order to identify them (it makes my skin crawl). I have been working on this, however. One spider was obliging enough to stay in clear view for a photograph that I then actually used to identify it from! This is my first ever spider identied to species level. Phew!
There was also a lone bug sat amongst the leaves. There are quite a lot of similar looking species in the Miridae family but I’ve tentatively identified this one as Lygus Pratensis. I love the little love heart on its back!
A slender fly with a slightly iridescent form settled on a leaf beside me as I photographed. I’m pretty sure that it’s a type of Centurion Fly, of which there are four different types in the UK. I think this one is a female Yellow-legged Centurion fly.
Finally, I also spotted three different ladybirds. The 7-spot is a very familar sight. They’ve done really well in the meadow this year and I’ve taken rather a lot of pictures of them.
The other two ladybirds were less familar. I thought at first that they were both types of Harlequin ladybird, an invasive species that comes in a wide variety of forms.
Whilst I do still think that the black one with orangey red spots is a Harlequin ladybird, I’ve tentatively identified the other as a 24-spot Ladybird, which is a species that I’ve never before seen.
That’s all for today. Have you been on any bug hunts lately?