First, the sunbathing – sometimes alone …
… sometimes with a friend.
Then, later, the sex!
Credits: Today’s post has featured the Green shieldbug (Palomena prasina) and the Dock bug (Coreus marginatus).
I hadn’t seen any Dock bugs (Coreus marginatus) for a couple of months and then suddenly, at Cosmeston the other day, I saw 11 on one plant!
Now that I’ve read up on them, I understand the sightings gap: it seems adults mate and lay their eggs in the springtime, the nymphs munch away on dock and their other favourite plants for a couple of months and, by August, they have developed into new adults. And here they are …
I blogged about the Dock bug (Coreus marginatus) back in October last year and mentioned then that, in common with most bugs, these mini-beasties go through five larval / nymph stages before they become adults, though I had only ever seen the adult bugs … until yesterday.
I was indulging in the odd mouthful of ripe blackberry as I wandered around Cathays Cemetery when my hand was stopped in its reach by the glare of this little critter. It obviously had its eye on the succulent ripeness of that very same blackberry and was certainly not going to be intimidated by any gigantic human hand reaching towards it. I relinquished the berry!
When the Dock bug found out that his cousin the Green shield bug had received a blog post all to himself, he was not amused. Was he not as lovely? Was he not as worthy of attention? Well, yes, angry little Dock bug, you most certainly are, so here is your moment in the spotlight!
Coreus marginatus is the Dock bug’s scientific name, and he’s a largish (13-15mm), broadish, reddish-brownish sap-sucker. Luckily, his sap-sucking is restricted to the leaves of docks and sorrels so he’s not the pest that some other members of the squashbug (bugs on squash plants) family can be.
Mr and Mrs Dock bug seek each other out in the springtime to create the new generation, then, once hatched, their offspring, like most True bugs, go through five nymph stages before emerging as adults from about August. I’ve only ever seen the adults, in the shrubs, bushes and hedgerows alongside many of my walking trails, but there are plenty around – three sitting close together on one sunny leaf just last week. As well as inhabiting much of southern Britain, the Dock bug can also be found throughout Europe, in many Asian countries and in parts of North Africa.