Bug’s defence is awful smell
Iwas shown a very impressive bug recently – a western conifer seed bug. It was attracted to one of the moth traps at Dungeness. One of the reasons it was identified quickly was that one had been caught in a moth trap in Hastings and posted on the internet days earlier. It is a coreid bug which has only just appeared in Britain. It comes from North America but appeared in Italy in 1999, hidden in imported goods. It spread across Europe and is enjoying life this side of the Atlantic as well. It is a big bug and when flying around makes a loud buzzing. It sucks the sap out of the conifer cones. Eggs are laid on the leaf stems and hatch in the spring. One of the defences of this creature is to spray a really awful smell from its abdomen... you have been warned. In North America, there is concern that the western conifer seed bug damages large tracts of coniferous plantations. In the late summer and autumn they start moving around looking for sites to overwinter, hence the appearance of a few on the Romney Marsh in late August and another flurry in the middle of October. It looks like they are settling into this country very nicely.