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
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