Friday, 16 March 2012

'OLD STINKY' AND THE SPOTTY LADIES!







As I was doing the rounds of my estate...er...back garden in yesterday's afternoon sunshine  I noticed that the warm weather had brought out one or two bugs.... It was time to break out the macro lens!

Sitting on top of my Green wheelie bin (trash can!), attracted to the colour and trying to look inconspicuous, I guess, was a brown (!) Green Shield Bug. (Palomena prasina)


 
The Green Shield bug is maybe the best known, and most common, member of our garden visiting Shield Bugs, perhaps more conspicuous in its bright green colouring. It normally visits our gardens in the spring and autumn.
They turn brown just before going into hibernation over the winter months and on emerging again in the early spring it takes them about a week to regain their bright green colour. It grows to about 12 to 14mm (around 1/2") in length and both sexes are identical to the naked eye.


 
The Green Shield Bug also has another name..The Green Stink Bug...(ha ha!, the title now starts to make sense!!)...for one good reason - it produces a stinking liquid which it leaves as a trail behind it, every where it goes!!  Have you ever picked, and eaten, a bad  smelling and tasting wild Blackberry?  Well, you now know why it tasted so bad, 'Old Stinky' had probably been there before you!!

This image, showing the more normal green colouring, was taken in my garden on the 16th June 2011


 
Over on the other side of the garden I found, basking in the sunshine on the leaves of a plant called Silver Dollar or Money Plant (lunaria annua), a large gathering of Seven Spot Ladybirds (coccinella 7-punctata).

There was about 20 on this plant alone!


 
One of our most common and easily recognised garden bugs appears in our gardens from March to November and measure about 6-8mm (1/4") in length. It's name, unsurprisingly, comes from the fact that it has 7 black spots on its orange/red wing cases. A gardeners friend due to its diet of aphids, which it stumbles across on its meandering travels over our garden plants. It's also used commercially as a controller of aphid infections.



 
Its bright red colour acts as a deterrent to birds and wildlife (it also tastes bad and is slightly poisonous). and not unlike our old friend, 'Stinky' above, if attacked or threatened it will exude a drop of smelly, bad tasting, yellow liquid!



 
"I've had enough of this guy poking his lens up my nose....I'm off"





 
Whatever you find yourself doing this weekend...have a good one.

14 comments:

FOREST SNAPPER said...

FANTASTIC CLOSE UPS TREVOR, YOU REALY KNOW YOUR INSECTS .

PETER

The Herald said...

Thanks Peter, I've got some good books!!...[;o)

Lap Dog Knits said...

Great shots..can't say I love bugs but I do love your photos.

Enjoy the weekend.

The Herald said...

Thanks for your kind comments Kyle and I wish you a grand weekend too...[;o)

Bob Bushell said...

The Shield Bug can be a bit smelly, especially if you step on. I love the Ladybirds, they are superb. Brilliant photographs.

The Herald said...

The first sentence could also be applied to many things Bob!...lol.

Glad you liked the photographs...[;o)

Andrew said...

Wonderful images Trevor many thanks for sharing them.

The Herald said...

Cheers Andrew...[;o)

holdingmoments said...

Great post Trevor; and that has to be one of the best post titles I've read in a long time.
Cracking macros.

The Herald said...

Thanks Keith...[;o)

ShySongbird said...

Hi Trevor, I am confused!!! I usually do all my commenting on my iPad and have been keeping an eye (no pun intended!) on my sidebar for your latest post but it just showed 'A Walk in the Sun'. Tonight I thought I would have a look at some more of your older posts and found this one, it doesn't show on either my sidebar or my dashboard! I see others have obviously found it though so wonder if it is something to do with the iPad. I will check it on the laptop tomorrow to see if it shows up there.

Anyway, I have thoroughly enjoyed your beautiful photos. I do like Ladybirds and the Shield Bug is a fascinating little creature which I have only photographed a few times, you have some great captures!

The Herald said...

Hi Jan, Thanks for your kind comments.
Yeah, this is my latest post, although nearly a month old! (long story!!) I've also found a problem with a couple of the blogs that I follow where they are not updated when I open them, I have to click on the title bar to make them go to the current post. I guess it's just another one of those quirks of Blogland!!...[;o)

btw. Keith is back from Wales now so I guess he'll be posting before too long.

Ruby said...

Beautiful macros!

The Herald said...

Thanks Ruby...[;o)