Mottled Shield Bug

The Mottled Shield Bug (Rhaphigaster nebulosi) is an insect in the Pentatomidae family of shield bugs or stink bugs. It is called a Stink Bug because it has an unpleasant smell when it is squashed. Nymphs have stink glands on their back. Adults have stink glands on the underside of the thorax. 

The Mottled Shield Bug has a hard, hairless, smooth exoskeleton that looks like a shield.The shield is called a scutellum.It is yellowish-grey, grey, or brown with irregular mottled markings. Its underbelly is light-coloured. Its underbelly also has a long spur. On its lateral edge (side), called a connexivum, it has irregularly-spaced black and yellow markings. 

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Lesser Cockroach

The Lesser Cockroach (Ectobius panzeri) is an insect in the Ectobiidae family (formerly the Blattellidae family) of non-cosmopolitan cockroaches. 

The Lesser Cockroach is brownish-black.It has a waxy exo-skeleton, like a shield. Its head has pale yellow markings, with long antennae. It has wings and can fly short distances. The female has shorter wings than the male. It has pads and hooks on its feet that enable it to climb, even on smooth glass.

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Hornet-Mimic Hoverfly

The Hornet-Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) is an insect in the Syrphidae family. It is also called the Belted Hoverfly or the Zoned Volucelle. It is a syrph. 

The Hornet-Mimic Hoverfly has a yellow and reddish-brown body that looks like a wasp or a bee. Its two abdominal stripes are thicker than those of the bee. Its head is yellow. The female has a larger gap between the top of her eyes than the male (the male’s compound eyes touch each other). The male has a darker head than the female. Its wings and legs are reddish-brown. It does not have a stinger at the end of its abdomen and therefore it is harmless to humans.

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What is the difference between an Ant Bag Beetle and a Ladybird?

What is the difference between an Ant Bag Beetle (Clytra laeviuscula) and a Ladybird (Coccinellidae family)?

Both the Ant Bag Beetle and the Ladybird are insects and beetles. The Ladybird is also known as the Ladybird Beetle and the Lady Beetle.

The Ant Bag Beetle has an elongated body and the Ladybird has a rounded body. 

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Ant Bag Beetle

The Ant Bag Beetle (Clytra laeviuscula) is a small insect in the Chrysomelidae family of short-horned leaf beetles.

The Ant Bag Beetle has an elongated body with shiny red-orange elytra (wing covers) that have four black spots. It has two larger spots around the centre of the elytra and two smaller spots on its shoulders. It prothorax (head) is black and shiny. Its antennae are short and black. It has six short legs.

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The Leafhopper (Coelidiinae subfamily) is a small insect in the Cicadellidae family of leafhoppers.

The Leafhopper can be varied in colour, from brown to multi-colours. Most of them are dull and not very conspicuous. It has strong hind (back) legs that are modified for jumping. The back legs are covered with hairs. It has short antennae. It has two simple eyes, called ocelli, on the top of its head. It has two sets of wings – the front wings and the hind wings. It has a mouthpart with a sucking and piercing part that enables it to stick into plants to sip the juices. 

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Marmalade Fly

The Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) is a small insect in the Syrphidae family of hoverflies. It is also known as the Marmalade Hoverfly. 

The Marmalade Fly is patterned with orange and black bands on the top of its abdomen. The female has dark-orange, light-orange, and black bands. It looks like a wasp, but it is smaller and it does not have a tiny waist. The male has holoptic eyes, which means that the left and right compound eyes touch at the top of its head. The adult has wings. 

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Fallacy: Mayflies are only seen in May

Are Mayflies only seen in May?

No, Mayflies are not only seen in May. The belief that Mayflies are only seen in May is not true—it is a fallacy. 

The Common Mayfly (Ephemera danica) is seen in the Northern Hemisphere in May and June. Elsewhere in the world, mayflies are seen in other months.

The Mayfly is an insect in the Palaeoptera family of dragonflies and damselflies. It lives all over the world, near freshwater rivers, ponds, and lakes.

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Jumping Spider

The Jumping Spider (Evarcha arcuata) is a small arachnid in the Salticidae family of jumping spiders.

The Jumping Spider has a domed, arched abdomen, a squarish or rectangular head, eight short legs, and a pair of pedipalps near its mouth. The male is dark-grey to black with a copper sheen. It has horizontal black and white stripes on its face. The female is brown and white with black diagonal spots. It has eight eyes and excellent vision. 

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Oblique-Lined Tiger Beetle

The Oblique-Lined Tiger Beetle (Cicindela tranquebarica) is a large insect in the Carabidae family of ground beetles. 

The Oblique-Liined Tiger Beetle has a small rounded head, a small thorax (chest), and a long brown-grey abdomen (body). It has yellowish lines on its back, on its wing covers, called elytra. One wing cover is called an elytron. It has wings and can fly. Its antennae are long, black, and ridged. It has a groove on its foreleg with a comb of hairs used for cleaning its antennae. It has bulging eyes. It has six long, thin, hairy legs. 

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Black and Yellow Garden Spider

The Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) is a small venomous arachnid. It is not an insect because it has eight legs (insects have six legs).  It is also called the Yellow Garden Spider, the Golden Garden Spider, the Zigzag Spider, the Hay Spider, and the Corn Spider.

The Black and Yellow Garden Spider has yellow and black markings on its abdomen. Its head and thorax, called the cephalothorax, is mainly white or silver-looking. It has eight long, thin legs. 

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RESEARCH: Insect numbers are decreasing

German researchers wanted to determine the effects of urbanisation on insect numbers. They found that insects are disappearing more quickly than they expected.

The researchers collected more than one million insects across 300 sites in Germany in 2008. They did the same exercise in the same sites 10 years later in 2018. They wrote about their experiment results in the Nature journal in 2019.

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