Freshfield Dune Heath: Rhacognathus punctatus

Rhacognathus punctatus (Dr Phil Smith)

 

Another interesting discovery at Freshfield by Dr Phil Smith. This Shieldbug (Rhacognathus punctatus the Heather Shieldbug) is otherwise unknown from locations in South Lancashire (VC59). As a whole there are only 200 records for the UK (NBN Atlas 09.08.2018).

The only other records for our area are from Coastal Surveys carried out by the natural history staff at the World Museum Liverpool. This survey produced 4 records of this species. All of them from locations within the same nature reserve and all collected on the 15th July 1997.

No prior or subsequent records have been reported until now!

Reported yesterday by Dr Phil Smith at Freshfield Dune Heath

"I did a bit of sweeping in the heather next to a path and, unbelievably, immediately caught a small dark shieldbug at SD2942008919, which turns out to be a Heather Shieldbug Rhacognathus punctatus"

Another great find underlining the incredible biodiversity of the Sefton Coast as well as the vital link between knowledge and expert naturalist recording of our local wildlife.