A modern atlas of the Shieldbugs of VC56 Nottinghamshire
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Shieldbugs are popular with many entomologists. On the whole, they are large and conspicuous insects and as a number of species readily occur in urban parks and gardens, they are frequently noticed by the public.

The arrival of websites such as iRecord and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, has meant  that those with little knowledge of insects can photograph their subject, upload it, and have an identification within minutes. As a direct consequence, more records than ever before filter their way through to the various recording schemes around the UK.

Modern invertebrate recording is now less likely to be restricted to just a few entomologists per county, in the way it often was 50 years ago. For instance, our understanding of species distribution has become much better in recent years and a more accurate picture of their distribution is becoming possible following the increase in records.

What next for Nottinghamshire?

In VC56 Nottinghamshire, Shieldbugs have done extremely well and the commonest species can be found easily enough with little effort. There are currently 23 species with confirmed Nottinghamshire records, with nine having been added to the county list since 2000 and a number of others are probably on their way here.

Both Brassica Bug and Tortoise Bug were recently added to the VC56 list in May 2019 by Darren Matthews, with Darren finding both species within the space of a week!

Southern Green Shieldbug Nezara viridula (Linnaeus, 1758) has already been reported from the Rufford area in September 2017. As far as we know, the record has not been verified by the county recorder, but it is interesting to note that Southern Green Shieldbug was recorded in Yorkshire for the first time in 2018
(Rhodda, A.).

 
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Lincolnshire and Leicestershire have yet to record it and of those counties adjacent to Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire (with listed records coming via the Naturespot website), perhaps gives us the best picture of what species to look out for in the next few years.

Mottled Shieldbug
Rhaphigaster nebulosa (Poda, 1761) was first recorded from the London area in 2010, following an expansion of range on the near continent. It was subsequently found to be well-established in parts of south London during 2011 and there have been further records of it since. In 2018, there was a surprising record from Magna Park (Mabbett, C.) near Lutterworth in Leicestershire. This record may have been accidental, following transportation from the London area, or even directly from the continent and certainly serves to remind us that just about anything can turn up anywhere.
 
Species accounts and distribution maps

The following distribution maps are up to date as of January 2019. Our thanks go to the following people and organisations who have contributed their records.

Keith Alexander. Charlie Barnes. Allan and Annette Binding. John and Denise Bingham. Paul and Helen Brock. Pauline Bradford. Dave Budworth. Adrian Dutton. Jim Flanagan. Andy Godfrey. Wil Heeny. Rob Johnson. Peter Kirby. Keith and Belinda Lugg. Darren Matthews. Trevor and Dilys Pendleton. Richard Rogers. Chloe Ryder. Tim Sexton. Meg Skinner. Peter Smith. Sean Tobin. Martin Warne. Stuart Warrington.  

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Entomological Society (DANES). Netherfield Wildlife Group. Nottingham Biological and Geological Records Centre (NBGRC). Nottingham City Council. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Sherwood Forest Invertebrate Directory 2014. Sherwood Forest Trust. Sorby Natural History Society. The National Trust.
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - ACANTHOSOMATIDAE - ACANTHOSOMA
Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale (Linnaeus, 1758)
Hawthorn Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: A widespread and common Shieldbug, found regularly in gardens and parks. The vast majority of Nottinghamshire records are from the suburban areas of Nottingham, Mansfield and Worksop, but there is no logical reason as to why there are so few records from the towns of Newark and Retford, other than lack of observer coverage.

Both this (and the commoner Green Shieldbug) are the two most frequently encountered Shieldbugs in gardens, especially those planted with a range of shrubs.

Cotoneasters are particularly favoured host plants, but away from urban sites, flowering or fruiting Hawthorns present in a wide range of habitats will usually hold both nymphs and adults depending on time of year.

 
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Beating is the easiest method of finding Hawthorn Shieldbug, but both adults and nymphs are fond of basking on the upper surfaces of leaves for long periods. Like a number of other species, the adults are occasionally attracted to MV light.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - ACANTHOSOMATIDAE - CYPHOSTETHUS
Cyphostethus tristriatus (Fabricius, 1787)
Juniper Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: For many years this attractive species was thought to be extremely rare in Nottinghamshire and with no natural habitat available here, the distribution of Juniper Shieldbug is likely to be linked to urban parks and gardens containing mature examples of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Lawson's Cypress) and Cupressus sempervirens (Italian Cypress). Both are ornamental conifers, grown commonly in gardens and parks, or used in planting schemes around offices, or industrial buildings.

The county's first record was reported from Ordsall near Retford in 2010
(per Bantock, T.) which remained the only record for VC56 Nottinghamshire for a number of years. It was casually searched for at a number of urban sites by several entomologists, but there were no other records until eventually found at Mansfield,  Watnall and Langold in 2014.
 
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A number of records are now being reported annually and its range is certainly increasing. Recent sites to record it include Attenborough, Ravenshead, Market Warsop and the grounds of Nottingham City Hospital, so it is probably widespread in Nottinghamshire and just under-recorded.

The present distribution of Juniper Shieldbug is interesting and the westerly bias to the known records
showed in the above distribution map, would suggest colonisation from western counties. But in all honesty, its present distribution probably just reflects the more densely populated areas of the county. Even single conifers have been found to hold small populations and it has subsequently proved to be more common than had originally been thought to be. Beating the foliage of both Lawson's Cypress and Italian Cypress growing in gardens or parks, is the best method of finding this species.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - ACANTHOSOMATIDAE - CYPHOSTETHUS
Cyphostethus tristriatus (Fabricius, 1787)
Juniper Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: For many years this attractive species was thought to be extremely rare in Nottinghamshire and with no natural habitat available here, the distribution of Juniper Shieldbug is likely to be linked to urban parks and gardens containing mature examples of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Lawson's Cypress) and Cupressus sempervirens (Italian Cypress). Both are ornamental conifers, grown commonly in gardens and parks, or used in planting schemes around offices, or industrial buildings.

The county's first record was reported from Ordsall near Retford in 2010
(per Bantock, T.) which remained the only record for VC56 Nottinghamshire for a number of years. It was casually searched for at a number of urban sites by several entomologists, but there were no other records until eventually found at Mansfield,  Watnall and Langold in 2014.
 
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A number of records are now being reported annually and its range is certainly increasing. Recent sites to record it include Attenborough, Ravenshead, Market Warsop and the grounds of Nottingham City Hospital, so it is probably widespread in Nottinghamshire and just under-recorded.

The present distribution of Juniper Shieldbug is interesting and the westerly bias to the known records
showed in the above distribution map, would suggest colonisation from western counties. But in all honesty, its present distribution probably just reflects the more densely populated areas of the county. Even single conifers have been found to hold small populations and it has subsequently proved to be more common than had originally been thought to be. Beating the foliage of both Lawson's Cypress and Italian Cypress growing in gardens or parks, is the best method of finding this species.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - ACANTHOSOMATIDAE - ELASMOSTETHUS
Elasmostethus interstinctus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Birch Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: This is one of our more common species, with a more wide-ranging distribution across Nottinghamshire than the map would suggest.

Birch Shieldbug is regularly found in woodland containing Birch (Betula) and is by far, the commonest species likely to be encountered in mixed, or deciduous woodland. It often turn up in suburban gardens, especially if there is Birch is nearby and adults are occasionally attracted to MV light during the Autumn months, when there seems to be some pre-overwintering dispersal.

As would be expected, the majority of the county's records originate from the Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park areas, and from other sites lying on dry, sandy soils. But it is by no means uncommon across parts of Nottingham, including the suburbs of Mapperley, Arnold and Woodthorpe.
 
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It has been regularly recorded from Southwell, despite there being a distinct lack of records from northern and eastern parts of Nottinghamshire, especially anywhere east of the Trent Valley. We have no records from the towns of Newark, Retford or Worksop, but can find no reason why it should not be present.

Beating the foliage of Birch will soon reveal nymphs or adults (depending on time of year) and is the best method of finding this species. Visual searching of foliage is more time consuming, but still worthwhile. As with most other species, both adults and nymphs spend a great deal of time sat on the upperside of foliage.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - ACANTHOSOMATIDAE - ELASMUCHA
Elasmucha grisea (Linnaeus, 1758)
Parent Bug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: Another species with an almost identical distribution to Birch Shieldbug in Nottinghamshire. Parent Bug is easily the less commonly recorded of the two species, but is found in a wide range of habitats where Birch is present.

It is found widely throughout the Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park areas and will occasionally be found in well planted suburban gardens and parks, though from our own records, considerably less often than the preceding species.

It has become regular on Birch scrub growing on many of Nottinghamshire's former colliery sites, explaining the number of records on the distribution map running along the Nottinghamshire border with neighbouring Derbyshire.
 
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This is another species easily found by beating Birch foliage. Spring is probably the best time to try this, as Parent Bug is one species in which the females show brood care and the nymphs remain with the female for some time, but visual searching can often be equally as productive.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - SCUTELLERIDAE - EURYGASTER
Eurygaster testudinaria (Geoffroy, 1785)  
Tortoise Bug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: This is another species which has been expanding its northerly UK range for a number of years.

It reached Leicestershire in 2016, when recorded from Ketton Quarry
(Nightingale, K.) and then appeared at Broughton Astley Brick Quarry in 2017 (Mabbett, C.).

Expectedly, it finally reached Nottinghamshire in May 2019, when Darren Matthews found county's first at Gedling CP, around a week after finding Nottinghamshire's first Brassica Bug at nearby Colwick CP.

More records will undoubtedly follow, especially by sweeping grassy areas.
 
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - CYDNIDAE - LEGNOTUS
Legnotus limbosus (Geoffroy, 1785)
Bordered Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: One of Nottinghamshire's three small, almost completely black Shieldbugs measuring no more than 4.5mm in length. All three are difficult to find and there are presently (Spring 2019) very few county records of each species.

Nottinghamshire's first record, seems to have been from the Sherwood Forest CP in 2009 and 2012 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.), the second record concerning an individual found on the wall of one of the old visitor centre buildings.

It was found again at Rainworth Heath in 2014 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) but the only other records are from a roadside embankment at Barnby Moor (Flanagan, J.) and Nottingham Trent University's Brackenhurst Campus, Southwell (Heeney, W.) in 2015.

 
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Legnotus limbatus is a ground living species, feeding on Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum), but not restricted to this, and is found on other Bedstraws and Goosegrass (Galium aparine). Nottinghamshire's five recent records have come from a variety of sites, suggesting that it is probably more widespread in the county than current records would indicate.

Drier sites are known to be favoured, so the sandy soils of the Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park areas, would seem to be ideal. Sweeping grassy sites containing Bedstraws, would be the most productive method of finding this species, but it has subsequently proved very difficult  to find, even at sites where it is known to occur.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - CYDNIDAE - SEHIRUS
Sehirus luctuosus (Mulsant & Rey, 1866)
Forget-me-not Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: Usually found within the vicinity of Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis), Sehirus luctuosus is the second of the county's three, mostly black Shieldbugs. Another ground-dwelling species, it remains rare in Nottinghamshire with just two county records.

Both have originated from very different brownfield sites at opposing ends of the county. Nottinghamshire's first record was  from Warsop Main Pit Top (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) in May 2007, where it was found on Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis) growing at the base of a steep section of colliery spoil heap, where it became a stone pathway.

Despite regular visits to the same site, there have been no subsequent records since.

 
 
In 2015, two different individuals were found on consecutive dates, during an invertebrate survey on the site of a number of former wartime airfield buildings at Langar (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) in May 2015. The site had significant areas of bare, concreted ground, linked by narrow access roads, allowing Forget-me-not to grow profusely in places.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - CYDNIDAE - TRITOMEGAS
Tritomegas bicolor (Linnaeus, 1758)
Pied Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: A widespread species which seems to be genuinely common across much of the county. But as is so often the case, there are few records from along the Trent Valley, or from sites anywhere east of the River Trent. This must be purely down to lack of observer coverage, as we have recorded Pied Shieldbug from the banks of the River Trent on several occasions.

This species has been well recorded from the sandy soils around Mansfield and the Sherwood Forest area up to Clumber, but there are records from sites lying on much heavier soils.

The adults are found on both White Dead Nettle (Lamium album) and Black Horehound (Ballota nigra) growing at the base of hedgerows, along field margins and the rides and the edges of woodland. Visual searching of foliage on a warm, sunny day, will soon reveal the conspicuous adults if present.
 
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At the present time (Spring 2019), there are no other species, with which there could be any confusion. But it is worth bearing in mind that Rambur's Pied Shieldbug will almost certainly spread north from its current stronghold in Kent.

Potential confusion with Rambur's Pied Shieldbug: Extremely similar to Pied Shieldbug, Rambur's Pied Shieldbug first colonised the UK in 2011, when it was discovered at two sites in Kent. This shieldbug has also been found at several other Kent sites, at Canterbury (T. Bantock) and by ourselves at Dartford, during an invertebrate survey of a former landfill site. Already believed to be widespread in Kent and now probably north of the River Thames in Essex.

Rambur's Pied Shieldbug is associated with Black Horehound (Ballota nigra) so plants growing in south Nottinghamshire, could well be worth searching in the coming years.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - AELIA
Aelia acuminata (Linnaeus, 1758)
Bishop's Mitre
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Nottinghamshire distribution: A widespread and common species, preferring dry grassy sites which are not cut regularly. Rough field margins, roadside verges and open, sunny woodland rides and edges are all suitable habitats.

Now probably found at all of the county's former colliery sites, but there is a preference for sites lying on dry, sandy soils. It is by no means restricted to sites situated on light soils though and its distribution is probably more limited from being under-recorded.

Sites lying on Sherwood Sandstone have provided most of the county's records and it is common throughout the Sherwood Forest area, but has been more widely recorded at Clumber, where it benefits from the large amount of grass heathland.
 
 
Bishop's Mitre appears if anything, to have become increasingly common in Nottinghamshire over the past 10 or 15 years, but it has not been widely recorded from sites lying along (or east of) the Trent Valley There are records from the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Spalford Warren reserve, from Newark and Netherfield down to Attenborough NR, but it appears to be genuinely less common along the River Trent.

Sweeping areas of long grass with a net, is the easiest method of finding this species, but the adults can be found by visual searching, as they are quite conspicuous on the flowerheads of various grasses during the Spring and Summer months.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - DOLYCORIS
Dolycoris baccarum (Linnaeus, 1758)
Hairy Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: Another common Shieldbug, with a widespread distribution across Nottinghamshire. Although not recorded at the number of sites as some species, this is a very common and wide-ranging species and it will often be present in some unlikely locations.

More usual sites include roadside verges, along hedgerows, woodland rides and the edges of woodland, but it is regular on post-industrial brownfield sites and occasionally turns up in urban gardens.

Once again, some bias towards the areas of recorder effort, would suggest that it is commonest in the Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park areas of the county, but there are numerous records from sites both in and around the city of Nottingham and elsewhere.
 
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Both adults and nymphs are most often found on a range of herbaceus perennials, being especially attracted to Burdock (Arctium sp), Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and Thistles (including Cirsium vulgare and Cirsium arvense). Hairy Shieldbug is an attractive species and easily found by either visually searching the host plants growing in a variety of situations, or by sweep netting low vegetation.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - EURYDEMA
Eurydema oleracea (Linnaeus, 1758)
Brassica Bug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: This attractive Shieldbug had been spreading steadily north from southern counties of the UK and eventually reached Nottinghamshire in May 2019, when three adults found at Colwick (Matthews, D.).

Eurydema oleracea (Linnaeus, 1758) was first recorded in Leicestershire at Groby Road allotments in 2015 (Peacock, H.A.) and then at Leicestershire Golf Club in 2018 (Roenisch, S.). Lincolnshire's first records were recorded in 2016, when found at Bourne South Fen (Heeney, W.) and Kirkby Moor SSSI (Boardman, P.).

The northerly range expansion seems to have gained pace over the past year, as there were additional records for Lincolnshire (Gray, M.) and one from just over the Nottinghamshire border in South Yorkshire (Batty, S.), coinciding nicely with the Colwick record.
   
  
Adults come in several colour forms, where the white markings can be replaced by either red or yellow and are found on a range of  Brassicas including plants such as Garlic Mustard and Horse Radish.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - EYSARCORIS
Eysarcoris venustissimus (Schrank, 1776)
Woundwort Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: This species has become increasingly more widespread over the past decade or so and is now relatively easy to find in Nottinghamshire with a bit of effort.

Recorded at a number of sites, this Shieldbug is certainly more widespread in Nottinghamshire than the map shows. Well recorded from the Mansfield and Market Warsop area, there are surprisingly few records from Sherwood Forest, although it does occur at some areas within the two sites of special scientific interest (SSSI's) which together form the Sherwood Forest NNR.

It occurs in Clumber Park, north as far as Dyscarr Wood near Worksop, but there are huge areas of north Nottinghamshire which still with no records we are aware of. In the south of the county, there are records from Attenborough NR, Hungerhill Allotments and Langar, with a scattering of records from a number of sites lying just north of Nottingham.
 
 
Woundworth Shieldbug is in inconspicuous species, although often found in numbers where it occurs. Favoured habitats are sheltered woodland rides, the edges of woodland and along hedgerows where Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) grows. Occasionally, White Dead Nettle (Lamium album) is used, but we have found this to be the least preferred of the two.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - NEOTTIGLOSSA
Neottiglossa pusilla (Gmelin, 1790)
Small Grass Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: A species with a very localised distribution in Nottinghamshire and largely restricted to the grass heathlands of the Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park areas.

Known sites away from Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park are very few, but it was recorded from Rainworth Heath in 2014 and 2015, then from an area of short grass on land a
djacent to the Sherwood Forest golf course on Eakring Road in Mansfield in 2016.

It perhaps seems a little surprising (in view of the habitat type) that there have been so few records of Small Grass Shieldbug from any of Nottinghamshire's former collieries other than Warsop Main Pit. We have several records from Warsop Main Pit Top, dating to 2006, 2007 and 2015, all from dry, sparsely vegetated ground, situated close to the site entrance just east of Warsop Vale.
 
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - PALOMENA
Palomena prasina (Linnaeus, 1761)
Common Green Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: Green Shieldbug is probably the county's most widespread and most frequently reported species. Found in a diverse variety of habitats, it is the typical Shieldbug found in gardens and a familiar sight to the majority of gardeners, and to those with a keen interest in natural history.

Found on most types of vegetation including a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs, but not (in our experience at least) on Pines, it should be remembered that this species turns brown before over-wintering and regaining its more usual bright green colouration the following Spring.

The distribution map shows a cluster of four distinct areas of records in the north-west of the county, making up a significant percentage of the county's recent records. These are purely the result of recorder bias, centered on the towns of Mansfield and Market Warsop and both Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park.
 
 

In truth, this is a much more widespread species which should be expected anywhere. As already mentioned, it is common in many gardens, but is under-recorded from the Nottingham area and anywhere east of the River Trent.

Potential confusion with Southern Green Shieldbug: In Nottinghamshire, Green Shieldbug has always been unlikely to be mistaken for any other species. But another green-coloured Shieldbug has started to increase its UK range and this could lead to some identification difficulties in coming years.

The Southern Green Shieldbug Nezara viridula (Linnaeus, 1758) started to show signs of moving northwards from the London area a few years ago. Then towards the end of 2018, came the news that it had been found in Yorkshire (per Rhodda, A.) and more research showed that the NBN Atlas was actually listing a number of records stretching north-west as far as Cheshire.

No records were given from any of the neighbouring East Midlands counties, or from Yorkshire. But, among a recent crop of records we received at the end of 2018, was a report of Southern Green Shieldbug from the Rufford area of Nottinghamshire on September 3rd 2017 at SK6562. At the moment, we have no idea whether the record is genuine, or just a misidentification, but recorders should be aware that this species could well be in Nottinghamshire and should be looked for.

 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - PENTATOMA
Pentatoma rufipes (Linnaeus, 1758)
Red-legged Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: A common species, being widespread across western and central Nottinghamshire, with numerous records north to Clumber Park, but reaching as far as Dyscarr Wood near Langold.

A large proportion of the county's records originate from the Sherwood Forest NNR, but the Red-legged Shieldbug's range continues south through the forested areas around Blidworth and Rainworth. Its range includes the Nottingham area, with a number of records coming from Nottingham City Hospital, Attenborough (including Attenborough NR), Bestwood, Mapperley, Sneinton and Wollaton.

Once again, we have to presume that a large degree of bias is evident in recorder coverage, although regardless of this, the lack of records from anywhere east of the River Trent, throughout eastern parts of Nottinghamshire and north of Retford to the Idle Valley is strange.
 
 
Formerly called Forest Bug, this is largely a species of woods and forests, but it is equally as likely to occur in mature parks and occasionally in well planted gardens with some mature trees nearby. In Spring, the nymphs can be often found sunning themselves on the trunks of deciduous trees. The adults are best recorded by beating the lower branches of a range of deciduous trees.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - PICROMERUS
Picromerus bidens (Linnaeus, 1758)
Spiked Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: Very similar to the previous species, but easily recognised by the large spikes on the pronotum (hence the common name) and the all red antennae.

The patchy and disjointed distribution of this species across western parts of the county, is unusual in Nottinghamshire Shieldbugs. Here it favours heathland, former quarries and colliery spoil heaps, dry grassland and meadows lying on Sherwood Sandstone or Magnesian Limestone.

Commonest in the Sherwood Forest area, with records from nearby Clumber Park and further north from Barnby Moor and Dyscarr Wood. South of the Sherwood Forest area, there are a few widely scattered records from sites which include the former Bentick colliery, Portland Park and Rainworth Heath.
 
 
The most southerly known sites in Nottinghamshire are Toton and Netherfield Ash Lagoons, but once again, there are no records from the entire eastern-half of the county, or from sites lying on clay-based soils. Always showing a preference for low vegetation, it is best found by sweep-netting suitable sites or by visually searching low vegetation.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - PIEZODORUS
Piezodorus lituratus (Fabricius, 1794)
Gorse Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: Generally a common species where it occurs, and yet another with a distribution appearing to confine it to the Sherwood Forest area. In our experience, Gorse Shieldbug will be present wherever the host plant grows.

Most records fall in a broad band running south-west from Clumber Park to the southern outskirts of Mansfield. Outside this area, it has occurred sporadically at sites such as Bevercotes Pit Wood (the most easterly record) Dyscarr Wood and Bentinck Banks NR.

It occurs on heathland sites throughout the Sherwood Forest NNR and Clumber Park areas, but is by no means confined to heathland and occurs on railway embankments, golf courses, brownfield sites and has proved quick to colonise the county's former colliery sites.
 
 
There are few known sites for this species from anywhere in south Nottinghamshire, but there are records from Attenborough NR, Colwick CP, Netherfield Ash Lagoons and Nottingham's Rock Cemetery, which is adjacent to the Forest Recreation Ground in central Nottingham.

Gorse Shieldbug is not widely recorded across Nottinghamshire, due to the distribution of the host plant. Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is preferred, although Broom (Cytisus scoparius) is used at those sites where Gorse doesn't occur. Both adults and nymphs can be found by beating the foliage of either hostplant.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - PODOPS
Podops inuncta (Fabricius, 1775)
Turtle Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: To our knowledge, this is one of the county's rarest species, with just three known occurrences by the end of 2018.

It was first recorded in Nottinghamshire in 2007 (Kirby, P.), when it was found during a survey of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Bentinck Banks Nature Reserve. This remained the county's only record until recorded again during an invertebrate survey of the former Gedling Colliery in 2013
(Flanagan, J.). The county's last record came in 2016, when it was recorded on wasteground on City Link, in the centre of Nottingham (Skinner, M.).

Turtle Shieldbug has a widespread distribution over much of the southern-half of the UK. It usually proves very difficult to find, due to it being a true ground-dwelling species, which is probably the main reason why it has not been more widely recorded in the county.
 
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - RHACOGNATHUS
Rhacognathus punctatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Heather Bug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: A scarce species which was found new to Nottinghamshire as recently as August 2009, when found on Budby South Forest (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.).

With only a few additional county records since, Heather Bug is very much restricted to heathland sites and all Nottinghamshire records have come from the general Sherwood Forest area, down to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's reserve at Rainworth Heath.

A second Nottinghamshire record came from Budby South Forest in August 2010, before one at Sherwood Forest Golf Course in April 2011. Three years later it was found at Centre Parcs
(Dutton, A.) and on consecutive dates from Rainworth Heath at the end of July 2014.
 
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - SCIOCORIS
Sciocoris cursitans Fabricius, 1794
Sand-runner Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: This is a very much a scarce UK species, with a patchy distribution across southern counties and with the most numerous records coming from Kent, Surrey and north Somerset.

There are isolated records from further north, including western parts of both Norfolk and Suffolk
(per NBN Atlas), but a single Nottinghamshire record seems extremely isolated and appears to be the most northerly to date.

The Sand-runner Shieldbug prefers warm, sparsely vegetated sites lying on dry, sandy soils, so the Sherwood Forest area would seem to be potentially ideal.

The hostplants are thought to be Mouse-eared Hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum) and various Cinquefoils (Potentilla sp) and these are usually common plants in the county's grassy heathland sites.

Nottinghamshire's only record, came during an invertebrate survey of Sherwood Heath SSSI near Ollerton in 2006 (Godfrey, A.) and despite being purposefully looked for on a number of occasions since, this ground-dwelling species has not been found again.
 
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - TROILUS
Troilus luridus (Fabricius, 1775)
Bronze Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: Although this Shieldbug is fairly widespread in the northern-half of Nottinghamshire, it tends to be infrequent and never found at any site with regularity.

Very much a woodland specialist, but we have occasional recorded it  from heathland sites containing a deciduous and coniferous trees/scrub.

Perhaps as would be expected, there are a number of records from within the Sherwood Forest NNR, specifically from Budby South Forest, Clipstone Old Quarter and the Sherwood Forest Country Park itself.

There are a cluster of records from Clumber Park and from a few miles further north at Dyscarr Wood in the north-west of the county. However, it appears not to have been recorded from sites much more north and east of the Idle Valley NR at Retford.
 
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There are no records from anywhere east of the River Trent, other than Stapleford Wood on the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire border. Other known sites for this species include Nettleworth Manor near to Mansfield Woodhouse, Wellow Park, Lound Wood near Eakring and the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's reserves at Gamston Wood and Rainworth Heath.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - PENTATOMIDAE - ZICRONA
Zicrona caerulea (Linnaeus, 1758)
Blue Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: This unmistakable species is another that is fairly widespread, although not regularly recorded despite its characteristic colouration.

Records range from the Idle Valley NR near Retford in the north of the county, down to Attenborough NR in the south-west, but it is generally less frequent south of Mansfield towards Nottingham.
There are a few sites from the Nottingham area, including well watched sites such as Netherfield Ash Lagoons and the former Gedling Colliery site.  

North of Nottingham, there are recent records from Papplewick and Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Rainworth Heath, Sherwood Forest Golf Course and Eakring Flash. However, the majority of records are from both the Sherwood Forest NNR and Clumber Park areas.
 
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Blue Shieldbug is a predatory species of beetles belonging to the Genus Altica, These are very common, blue beetles found on various Willowherbs growing in a various habitats ranging from woodland rides and hedgerows, damp grassland and heathland.
 
 
HEMIPTERA - PENTATOMOIDEA - THYREOCORIDAE - THYREOCORIS
Thyreocoris scarabaeoides (Linnaeus, 1758)
Scarab Shieldbug
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Nottinghamshire distribution: Measuring around 3.0-4.0mm long, the Scarab Shieldbug (formerly called the Negro Bug), is a species that is probably at the northerly limit of its UK range in Nottinghamshire. The species is unusual in that the scutellum covers most of the abdomen.

There remains just a single county record, following one found in an area of grass heath at Sherwood Forest CP on May 20th 2010 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). The locality of the record is also surprising, as this species is associated with Violets and Field Pansy growing on sandy soils, as Sherwood Forest CP is devoid of any Viola spp.

 
 
 
Shieldbugs and Plant Bugs etc
Insects
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