A new species for the Country Park is great but when it is also a new record for East Sussex as well!! I have just had verification from the National Weevil and Bark Bug recording scheme that this is the case for a weevil, Curculio betulae that I found on a birch catkin on the Firehills last Tuesday.
It seems that we have yet another new species record for the Country Park. Closterotomus norwegicus aka the Potato Capsid. This belongs to a large group of bugs collectively known as Mirid or Plant bugs and although it is called the Potato Capsid, the excellent British Bugs website tells us that it feeds on a wide range of plants, especially nettles, composites and clovers. Found yesterday on the Firehills not far from the radar.
Seen this morning from the Firehills, the fisheries patrol vessel Watchful whose home port is Shoreham and is capable of an impressive 23 knots and carries a crew of five. Her job is to protect the fisheries and conservation sites of Sussex and her duties include not only enforcement but marine research as well. She has a RIB that can be launched from the stern for boarding and inspection of fishing vessels at sea.
I have been keeping an eye on the birches where I first spotted the second instar nymphs and have managed to get a photo of final instar nymphs a week ago and today a number of adults. It seems that the adults photo is a little special as a couple of experienced recorders of shieldbugs have not seen adults crowded together thus on a leaf. I have only found one other similar photo on the internet so it would seem that not many people get to see this as the adults split up quickly it would seem and I am rather privileged to be one of those.
Also seen today 3rd and 4th instar Birch Shieldbug nymphs.
Well, persistence as recommended to me has paid off and I have to thank Taughtus for that and all the help with shieldbug and other id’s! Accessible online records do not show any records for Parent Bug at the Country Park, so I’m presenting this as a new record for the Country Park, 35+, 2nd instar Parent Bug nymphs on a birch leaf on the Firehills. To put this in perspective, this is not considered a rare species, this just highlights the lack of co-ordinated monitoring on the largest nature reserve within the borough of Hastings. The records on this site are provided gratis and with no encouragement from Hastings Borough Council. I hope to return to the area at a later date to record an adult. Also found this morning, an adult Forest Bug, which I am told is the first record of an adult for the Country Park.
Looking at Birch trees on the Firehills yesterday in the hope of finding a Parent Bug yielded a different shieldbug, the Forest Bug, also known as the Red-legged Shieldbug. I have recorded this one before but not in the Country Park and this is only the second record that I can find for the Country Park either on iRecord or the NBN Atlas, so a worthwhile find. This is not yet an adult but in it’s final instar stage.