Colourful Bugs

John Cobb writes:

Butterflies and moths, and dragonflies are probably the largest, most spectacular insects we get in the UK and have a big following. Others, although much smaller, can also be colourful and worth a close look. If they’re busy feeding they also tend to stay put, and let you look at them!

Umbellifer flowers and grass seed-heads are good places to look. The pictures are of a couple of bugs (Hemiptera) I found recently and thought rather attractive.

Gryocoris stysi on hogweed, near Asthall.

I really like the geometric pattern of the Gryocoris stysi; the Leptoterna has a certain elegance. As far as I know neither is uncommon, and I counted at least twenty five G. stysi on a few plants.

The pictures were taken with a fairly basic smartphone and are a bit fuzzy; I hope to get some better ones. In any case, I hope they show that the smaller bugs are worth taking a close look at – a hand lens is quite useful but the camera in a smartphone is a reasonable substitute if you don’t have one.

Unlike butterflies and moths, bugs seldom have common names, and ID can be a bit tricky. The website is quite helpful, and they will identify things for you.

John Cobb 15 July 2022

Members’ contributions to this blog are always welcome. If you’d like to ‘blog’ something interesting or unusual that you have seen or done, please send some text and a picture (ideally taken at the time) to