by Roger D. Hawkins
Shieldbugs are attractive and fascinating insects but have been little studied in recent years because of the absence of an identification guide in print. Here, at last, the gap is filled since this book includes a new and fully illustrated identification key to all the British species, including those not currently found in Surrey because they are extinct, rare, or confined to the coast.
The great majority of British Shieldbugs (some 29 species, approximately three-quarters of the British fauna) have been recorded in the county and these are illustrated by a series of superb colour photographs, both as adults and as juveniles (nymphs). The book follows the same format as other titles in the series and includes a comprehensive account of each species giving details of its biology, distribution, habitat and status as observed in Surrey over the past 25 years, during which time there have been some very remarkable changes. In addition to the species accounts, the book also covers a variety of other subjects including shieldbug predators and parasites, collection, dissection, conservation, and the “myth of the stinkbug”.
As well as the four families popularly known as shieldbugs, (the Acanthosomatidae, Cydnidae, Scutelleridae and Pentatomidae), the book also covers five other allied families of Heteroptera (or true bugs) which are also of particular interest (the Coreidae, Alydidae, Rhopalidae, Pyrrhocoridae and Stenocepalidae). Included amongst these are some of the county’s special rarities such as the Box Bug (Gonocerus aucteangulatus - historically restricted to a single site in Surrey, Box Hill, which has now spread to cover much of the rest of county but is still hardly known elsewhere in the UK), or the colourful Firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus - which established its first British mainland colony under a lime tree in Epsom). 17 species are fully covered in species accounts and an accompanying key to allied insects. The latter also includes an additional seven coastal and migrant species which make up the remainder of the British fauna for these families but which have not yet been recorded in the county.
Roger Hawkins, is a professional entomologist and has previously written the acclaimed Ladybirds of Surrey, an earlier volume in this series. He is a voluntary conservation worker and combines a passion for rambling with an interest in all aspects of natural history.
Hardback with 192 pages, including 24 colour plates.
ISBN 0 9526065 7 7
‘A fascinating and very readable account of these conspicuous and undeservedly neglected insects.’
- British Wildlife
‘This new book has already become a critical work for anyone who wants to identify shield bugs in Britain.’
- Entomologist’s Record
‘Entomologists thinking of starting on the study of true bugs would be well advised to start here…this is natural history at its best.’
- Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine
‘Must rank as one of the most important publications on British heteroptera for almost 45 years.’
- British Journal of Entomology and Natural History