15 February, 2014

Overwintering Hemiptera

Before catching the train back to Worcester the other week, I whipped out the sweep net for the first time this year and unleashed a wrath of sweeping fury on the garden conifer, in the hope of picking out some over-wintering Hemiptera.

It was surprisingly successful, with plenty of Empoasca and Zygina leafhoppers discovered. The latter is a tricky genus to separate, but with the help of Tristan Bantock, a few interesting species were singled out...

Empoasca vitis, identified by that transparent stripe down the side of the forewing. Possibly the commonest leafhopper in the garden at present. 

Balclutha punctata

Zygina flammigera

Zygina angusta

This one is probably Zygina schneideri, but the genus is so variable that it would be hard to say for sure without a closer examination.

A real corker of a leafhopper, and one of the more distinctive species- a male Zyginella pulchra 

Idiocerus vitreus 

Considering the relatively low number of species currently in their adult stage- and the ease at which they can be caught- now is the perfect time of year to get your head around this great bunch of insects.


Trees Planet said...

This is great post. You took some rear flies pictures.

Ashley Beolens said...

I always struggle to see any insects this time of year (just watch the birds till spring!) But I have a couple of evergreen bushes in my garden (no idea what, not a plant guy) maybe I'll go see what I can find!

Billy Dykes said...

Evergreens are a great place to start, Ashley- plenty of sheltered cover for early season insects. Give it a sweep and see what you find!

Tristan's website is great for helping to ID leafhoppers and such- britishbugs.org.uk