Thursday, June 21, 2012

Two-Spotted Grass Bugs

It was a very hot first day of summer today. We are in a bit of a heat wave the past couple of days. All the plants are growing vigorously but I'm sure they were water stressed in the mid-day sun. These Two-Spotted Grass Bugs were all over the Timothy this afternoon. They stayed in the shady side but scuttled over to the far side of the panicle whenever the camera came near. It seemed to be the motion that disturbed them. I could take the close-up shots by holding the camera steady and twisting the grass stem around to bring the bugs into view.

I've been slowly learning my grasses this week. Here is a useful grass identification document. I am making slow progress but I really wish there was the equivalent of the around for plants. The bug guide has dozens of very good pictures of the common bugs with which you can compare your specimen to the range of photographs taken by others. The Two-spotted Grass Bug for example seems to be quite variable in colouration; some are black with a bit of orange, like the one below, while others are more yellow with a bit of black. I have yet to find an online guide that would provide the equivalent image quality for grasses. I had been misidentifying Quack grass with Ryegrass until today because the identification photos online were so poor.

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