Nature's Place

Shielded Bugs

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

These small creatures are the gardens only winter residents, shielded as they are. Even so, they do come and go.

There isn’t enough food to keep them fed so they have to move on to what may be coming ripe somewhere else.

Nomads, following the road least travelled, harvesting what’s available and moving on to pastures new.

No certainty in their little lives, just what needs doing. No past or future to distract from now.

And no matter the situation, they never give up. That’s not nature’s way.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



14 Responses

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  1. Nil said, on 29/07/2020 at 3:28 am

    No grass here… wild garden… your little beauty would like it here, I think… :-)

  2. Nancy Hartney said, on 20/07/2020 at 1:35 am

    These folks have style! I let my grass grow this summer (too wet to mow actually) until waist high. Called it my bug sanctuary. This year I have more fireflies – or did I just make that up?

    • Mark said, on 20/07/2020 at 12:00 pm

      That makes sense, if you let the grass grow the natural creatures love it.

  3. krikitarts said, on 18/07/2020 at 7:52 am

    Hi Mark, I was fascinated by your beautiful photos of this shield bug and did some Googling. It looks very much like a brown shield bug (Dictyotus caenosus), which was introduced into New Zealand from Australia. There’s a somewhat-similar one that is of considerable economic concern, the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) but it hasn’t found its way here (yet) from its native China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan). There’s more information here: I am intrigued by the openings (orifices) above the base of each of the second set of legs. Do you know their function? I’ve asked an entomologist I know and, if you’d like, I’ll let you know what she says. -Gary

    • Mark said, on 18/07/2020 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Gary. It’s a big shield bug all right, partial to my butterfly bushes. Lucky enough there aren’t many or they’d kill them. As far as I know the function of the holes is to breathe through.

      • krikitarts said, on 19/07/2020 at 7:19 am

        I’ve heard back from my entomologist friend. At first I had the same thought about their being connected to the respiratory system, but insects normally breathe through a series of tiny openings called spiracles. She believes that they are the scent glands that produces the defensive secretions that give some of these insects the common name of “stink bugs”—and may leave an odor if you handle them, and added that most Hemiptera have these glands. I wonder why it was so difficult for me to find this information in spite of about a half-hour of Googling.

        • Mark said, on 20/07/2020 at 12:03 pm

          I see, if you look carefully there are two kinds of holes in the bugs sides. The one above and between the rear legs, and them holes in the segments along the back – I know, not very scientific.

          • krikitarts said, on 21/07/2020 at 7:04 am

            Yes, the round holes in the segments will be the spiracles. Again, nice work, Mark.

  4. kopfundgestalt said, on 17/07/2020 at 7:18 am

    I don’t know how to achieve such fine picrures.
    They are simply amazing!


    • Mark said, on 17/07/2020 at 11:25 am

      I know it seems that way but if you follow principles and practise (until you develop your own) you will get there, or near enough – depends on the time and focus you put into it. This is a good place to start – – and there are many good macro shooters to learn from.

      Thanks Gerhard.

      • kopfundgestalt said, on 17/07/2020 at 9:04 pm

        We already had that discussion :-)
        I’ll try to read your lessons, even with my English not being perfect :-)

        • Mark said, on 18/07/2020 at 1:07 am

          We endeavour … Maybe just be content with what you can do?

          • kopfundgestalt said, on 18/07/2020 at 1:27 am

            I just took a look ath the aforementioned side and yes, I came to the conclusion, that I should be content with what I have.
            Today i took pics of two creatures not known to me so far…I just wander around in the garden five times a day ,that helps.

            • Mark said, on 18/07/2020 at 2:02 pm

              Yes, just take it easy and enjoy the sunshine and the greenery. :-)

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