09February

Rare Bug found on Reserve

A Bioblitz and several workshops held last summer on the reserve have revealed the high levels of biodiversity of Conigre Mead, including the discovery of a rare bug.

Box Bug 7314

Photograph of mystery bug found at Conigre Mead

In searching through the many photographs taken at the summer events, Reserve Warden Gill Cardy spotted a shield bug that was difficult to identify. After consulting the British Bugs website*, Gill suspected it might be the rare Box Bug. She sent photos of the unusual bug to British Bugs and 2 experts confirmed her identification. The Box Bug (Gonocerus acuteangulatus) is quite a rarity, having been found only at Box Hill until the 1990s. It is known to feed on Box trees, but more recently it has been found on other plants. This is the first confirmed sighting of this bug in Wiltshire.

 

Box Bug 7324

 

Other wildlife found at the Bioblitz and summer workshops include:

15 species of butterfly, 10 moth species, 7 dragonfly and damselfly species, at least 4 different species of bee, 3 grasshopper and cricket species, 5 fly species, 5 spider species and 3 snail species, 3 small mammal species and a wide range of plants.

*www.britishbugs.org.uk provides an online identification guide to UK Hemiptera (an order of insects usually referred to as the ‘true bugs’).