Sloe or Hairy Shieldbug - Dolycoris baccarum at bottom right being hunted by a Nursery Web Spider - Pisaura Mirabilis, click for a larger image
Photos ©2005
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Sloe or Hairy Shieldbug - Dolycoris baccarum, click for a larger image

Sloe Shieldbug - Dolycoris baccarum
Family - Pentatomidae
Also known as - Hairy Shieldbug

Another shield bug species to be found in the park, recognised by it's banded antennae and body margins.  Length 10-13mm (0.4-0.55in) dark reddish brown or maroon in colour stippled with black dots, the segments of the abdomen are banded yellow and black and these are visible beyond the wing margins.  Antennae segments are banded yellowish red and black.  Ventral abdomen has scattered black points.  Legs are yellowish red, with the ends of tibia and tarsi black.

The alternative name of Hairy Shieldbug comes from fine hairs on the abdomen which can only be seen with a lens.  Widespread and common in Britain but mainly found in the South, also Ireland, usually being found along woodland edges and clearings.  The Pronotum lacks the lateral projections as seen in some other shield bugs.  Associated with Blackthorn and other hedgerow shrubs and feeds on Sloe (fruit of the Blackthorn) and other berries.

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