Mike Prince photographed this colourful insect on a banana plant in his garden in Rye on Saturday, and Dave Monk has identified it as a Birch Shieldbug (Elasmostethus interstinctus). Mike reported that the tail end was a bright vermilion-red, the body yellow and the underside greenish pale yellow, and there were green patches on the wings; length about 9 mm. Birch Shieldbugs are found throughout northern parts of Europe, Asia and North America. Adults lay eggs mainly on leaves and catkins of birch, though other trees such as alder, aspen, beech, oak, willow, holly and juniper are sometimes used (though not bananas!) They overwinter deep in leaf litter and can supercool their bodies to several degrees below freezing without harm; see, for example, http://faunayflora.blogspot.com/2007/12/elasmostethus-interstinctus.html
Archive for September 15th, 2008
Golden plover, snipe, dunlin, avocet, little stint, little gull, black tern, white-winged black tern and siskin were seen at the Hanson-ARC site this morning. A whinchat was seen near the entrance track on the main site.
This mornings highlight was an Osprey which gave fine views in flight over the Long Pit, it was last seen over the sea at Winchelsea Beach. Also this morning at least 1000 Swallows and 150 House Martin passed through Harbour Farm. Yesterday at about 3.30pm a Honey Buzzard passed over Rye Harbour Village.