Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis in Droitwich
On the 4th December 2011 I was asked if I would like to collect "a large bug" from my mother’s apartment in the centre of Droitwich, close to the Lido Park. The bug had entered her apartment the previous day and had been collected in a jam jar and then forgotten. Late that night she remembered that the bug was still in the jar and feeling sorry for its incarceration released it from her kitchen window only to find it back inside on the following morning. It was lucky to have selected mother’s apartment. Choosing any of the other window in the building would have resulted in instant "squash" bug! I duly collected the bug later on the 4th and could see that it was certainly some form of squash bug but much larger than any of the species in my guide to Shieldbugs and Squashbugs of the British Isles (Evans & Edmondson 2005). During the past year I have seen and heard many references to iSpot ... so this was a chance to sign up and give it a go. I duly photographed the subject and uploaded it later that evening (Fig. 1.). I was delighted to see an identification and several others in agreement on iSpot the following morning. The bug was named Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis. I then sent a photograph to Harry Green who subsequently mailed it to various other county experts with everyone responding positively. So I guess we now have a new record to add to the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre database. (also Fig. 2.).
Evans, M. & Edmondson, R. 2005. A photographic guide to the Shieldbugs and Squashbugs of the British Isles. WGUK in association with WildGuideUK.
Editor’s note: The British Bugs website http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Coreidae/leptoglossus_occidentalis.html states ‘Native to the USA and introduced into Europe in 1999, it has since spread rapidly and during 2008-2010 influxes of immigrants were reported from the coast of southern England, with a wide scatter of records inland. The bug feeds on pines and is likely to become established here; nymphs have been found at several locations. It is attracted to light and may enter buildings in search of hibernation sites in the autumn’. http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Coreidae/Leptoglossus_occidentalis.pdf a fact sheet from Forest Research gives more information.
Fig. 1. Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis
Fig. 2. Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis. Harry Green