Well I am a bugger and this is a bug. Dolycoris baccarum. I know that it’s Latin but just run that name over your tongue, “Dolly Chorus” it’s lovely.
The first interesting thing to know is that reportedly this bug has never been seen feeding on Blackthorn or Sloes. (don’t ask me, I just read that)
It’s colour can vary quite a lot although all the ones that I have ever seen have looked just like this. (I probably just didn’t recognise the others) The most definitive feature is the white banded antennae, other Shieldbugs don’t have them.
I have spoken before about this bug’s piercing mouth part, well, I think that I was talking about squash bugs then but these have them too. They use them to pierce plants and suck out the sap and this one is feeding on the grass.
In this next picture if you look closely there is a dew drop of sap on the end of it’s mouth part. (tucked between it’s legs, under it’s body)
Another name for this bug is the Hairy Shieldbug and although I have photographed it quite a few times before with lesser cameras I had never really seen just how hairy it is. It is a hairy shieldbug and given that it doesn’t like sloes, that would seem to be an appropriate name but everybody calls this one a Sloe Bug.
It is just a hairy little bug that I fell in love with about fifteen years ago but I didn’t have such a captury camera then.
(Bugger is just another word for an entomologist, you should hear what I call mycologists)