From the British Bugs website:
A large brown shieldbug which has orange legs and slightly hooked projections at the front of the pronotum. The pale spot at the tip of the scutellum varies from orange to cream.
This species overwinters as young nymphs, which feed mainly on oak. Alder, hazel and other decidous trees are also used, including apple and cherry. Adults are partly predatory, feeding on caterpillars and other insects as well as fruits.
New adults may be found from July onwards, surviving until the late autumn, and eggs are laid in August. Adults can sometimes be found in the early spring, suggesting that a secondary breeding cycle may be possible. Widespread and common across Britain in wooded areas, orchards and gardens.
Length 11-14 mm
Link to this site further down in the post.
|Such a cool critter freshly emerged from a moult.|
|Checking my watch strap out. |
My arms are not that hairy, by the way. The camera lies!
|I wonder how long they take to change to the final adult colouration.... |
I couldn't exactly keep it to find out!
|The exuvia upside down and head end towards us. |
I find these things so fascinating, look at those eyes and what looks like a proboscis!
|Right way up and back end towards us.|
There are few photos on the web of this bug after a moult; in fact I could only find two. One is on the British Bugs website with a picture of a teneral adult, and the other on fellow bug lover JJ's blog - he has a great picture on this post of one actually in the process of moulting! In fact it was thanks to photos by JJ and also Amanda (The Quiet Walker) that I was able to ID the bug below, that I hadn't realised was the final instar nymph of the Forest Bug.
|Final instar nymph of Forest Bug (Pentatoma rufipes) on a scabby looking pear in my orchard.|
|Another Forest Bug nymph that I saw the same day, |
funnily enough beside another orchard.
They are not easy to photograph as I've only seen them in shady places (not surprising given their name and habitat!) and the adults are shiny and reflect light.
|Adult Forest Bug (Pentatoma rufipes).|
|Forest Bug adult on a gooseberry bush.|
Last night I finally managed to stay awake and get outside after dark armed with some torches to see what I could find out there. I found quite a number of the adult bugs on the trunks of trees - now as far as I know, they are not nocturnal, so I'm wondering if they were there during the day and I never noticed? I need to find out!
|Forest Bug at night on tree trunk, taken using the little-used pop up flash of my SX50 and torch light.|