One of our volunteers Yvonne is fascinated by invertebrates. During the summer she even had a brilliant display in the Purfleet hide about all the different shieldbugs.

Shieldbugs are invertebrates that get their name form their scutellum (Latin for "little shield") which is a cover over their abdomen. Yvonne saw a tiny dock leather bug in 2016 and thought it was great it looked "just like a tiny dragon" she said.

Even recently invertebrates have been out and about - at the end of November Yvonne was in the woodland and saw the following. Take it away Yvonne:

I was in the woodland in November and was surprised to see a number of invertebrates still showing nicely. These two in particular caught my attention. Right next to each other was a dock leatherbug (left) and a box leatherbug (right) - it shows the differences quite well.

 The box bug is slimmer and more elegant, with sharper "shoulders", while the dock bug has "power shoulders" and a much wider "flange" around its rear half.

Dock leatherbug (left) and box leatherbug (right) at Rainham Marshes by Yvonne, November 2018 Dock leatherbug (left) and box leatherbug (right) at Rainham Marshes by Yvonne, November 2018

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