We were recently sent a photo of a bug seen back in 2008 and has turned out to be a first for the county! The juniper shieldbug (Cyphostethus tristriatus) was found in a garden in the middle of Dumfries when a hedge was being removed.
As the name suggests this species was once restricted to wild juniper but is now found in gardens on cypress and ornamental junipers. The National Recorder for shieldbugs and allied species confirmed the identification and said it was not an unexpected find as the juniper shieldbug is taking advantage of cypress in urban areas.
Click here for a national distribution map.
The juniper shieldbug should be relatively easy to find on cypress hedges if present and is often found in the hedge clippings. Laying down an old white sheet under the hedge and giving a few sharp knocks to the stems might dislodge a few interesting species for identification. A brilliant website for helping with shieldbugs identification is British Bugs. So if you fancy helping to dot the map with records of the juniper shieldbug get into the garden this weekend and have a look! If you find anything and are not sure of it's identification send me a photo at firstname.lastname@example.org.