Firebugs

I took this picture of these two Firebugs today in a rare shaft of sunshine. They were enjoying the warmth of the slate roofed hedgehog house.
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  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 23,070
    Ahhh Guernsey Donkey I would love to see them but the picture hasn't shown up. Had nothing but rain here all day.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 5,510
    I don't know what happened first time of posting, hopefully the picture is visible this time. I hope you have nicer weather tomorrow Ladybird.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 1,358
    Lovely,I have never seen them before.
    They put me in mind of African masks!!

    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 961
    I have seen some browny or greeny similar looking bugs before but not seen your ones before GuernseyDonkey. Are they only on Guernsey? They do look happy there head to tail. And I like their markings.

    Madpenguin how neat is that!
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 23,070
    What a super picture of them GD. I wish I could bask in some sunshine right now. Thank you to you and madpenguin for sharing those great pictures with us
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Todmorden, West YorksPosts: 5,091
    Those are gorgeous, GD.  The Internet says they are at the very northern edge of their range in Britain, and are very rare here, with a colony only in Devon.  I guess Guernsey is warmer for them!
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 5,510
    Yes, they certainly do look exotic and mask like.  I am not sure if they are unique to Guernsey or the Channel Islands - perhaps Hampshire Hog or anyone on the Isle of Wight could let us know if they have seen them there. I have seen a colony of approx. 20 on the Guernsey south coast cliffs, basking in the warmth of the sun.This picture is another couple of firebugs in our wild flower patch during the summer.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 23,070
    They really do look like madpenguin's African masks. Another lovely picture GD.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 1,806
    Firebugs (Pyrrhocoris apterus) are quite common where I live (in France). As shown on @Guernsey Donkey2 's summer photo, they like to live (and feed) on the fruit of plants of the Malvaceae family (Hibiscus, Lavatera, etc.).
    An interesting (and little known) fact regarding their colouration is that when the adults emerge from their last larvae stage, they are entirely red in colour. But they soon get their striking red and black colouration. Some years ago I was taking macro photos of a colony of firebugs; when I got home I transferred the photos on my computer to get a better view and was quite surprised to see this all-red specimen, which I had not even noticed when taking the photo. I rushed back to where I had taken it, but of course it was too late, all the specimens in the colony were red and black!

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 5,510
    Well Papi jo, I didn't know that and I have (as far as I am aware) ever seen a newly hatched firebug - they seem to be saying beware I may be poisonous.  I will have to look more carefully for the pure red critters, as they obviously breed in our garden.
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