Thursday, 15 October 2015

Day 335 - Mightly Pretty - Meadow Plant Bug

Female Meadow Plant Bug (Leptopterna dolabrata)
Hey everyone, Day 335 today. I'm still out and about looking for new species to cover. I'm out walking almost everyday now since we got our puppy, Esme. I'm still seeing loads of great nature, like a load of Crows mobbing a Buzzard the other day and loads of lovely fungi at the moment. Finding new stuff is getting harder though! But I never fear and I've got lots of photographs of things I've found that I'm still trying to identify. This one today wasn't too hard after I had a look through some insect books I have. This one was from a grassy part of Silton Forest. Today I'm looking at the Meadow Plant Bug!

So what did I find out about this little creature?

I found it on this grass.
  • They are found across most of the UK but if you look at the map at Nature Spot there's lots of areas where they aren't recorded.
  • Measuring up at 8 to 8.5mm long they aren't the biggest of insects.
  • As their name suggests it likes to live in grassy habitats like meadows. It doesn't mind if they are a bit damp.
  • You are most likely to see the adults of these bugs from June to September.
  • Their diet is plant juices that they extract from the seeds of grasses, they use their strong mouth parts to puncture seeds and extract the juices.
  • Females also lay eggs in the stems of grasses in the Autumn. They over-winter as eggs and nymphs emerge in the spring. I found a great Youtube video of a nymph which I've linked below.                                                                    
  • The nymphs have five stages of growth before they become adults.
  • Males and females are different. Males have wings as long as their bodies while the females are shorter. The one I found was a female.
  • I also found there are scientific terms to describe this. Males are macropterous (fully-winged) and females are brachypterous (partly-winged). 
  • I mentioned their diet was juices from seeds. Well a lot of the time this causes the seed of the plant to die. If they are eating wild grasses it's not a problem but this bug can upset farmers if they start on their crops.
Well that's a round up of what I found, for more facts and pictures try these sites:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Lovely shots Zach, I've never come across these before! - Tasha