Wren, the Wanstead Park and Flats Conservation group, have cancelled all public events until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak. Virtual wildlife Meetings and suggestions for activities continue here
Wren Summer Newsletter out now
Go to the Newsletter page to download and read
Sheildbug of the Day Rambur’s Pied Shieldbug (Tritomegas sexmaculatus)
In 2011 a continental, and largely Mediterranean, shieldbug was found in Kent: Rambur’s Pied Shieldbug (Tritomegas sexmaculatus). Since then, this species has made a steady advance north-west and has since been found in an increasing number of locations in Kent and towards London.
The species is very similar to the commoner and closely related Pied Shieldbug (Tritomegas bicolor). The main differentiating characteristics for the adult bugs are more extensive white patches on the pronotum (the armoured section immediately behind the head and before the wing cases begin) and the darker (black) wing membrane at the bottom centre of the bug in the case of Rambur’s.
In August we were contacted by someone studying and mapping the spread of this species, partly to see if it had got as far north and west as Wanstead Flats yet. That individual later came herself and found the species on its host plant, Black Horehound (Ballota nigra).
For me, and at least one other Wren member, the news of a national rarity found on our patch was too tempting an opportunity and we both went separately and found bugs of different stages of maturity ourselves.
This map from iRecord shows the progression of the species up towards London – with all the red dots being records of this species. At the time of submitting my own records, Wanstead Flats was the most northerly and western location Rambur’s Pied Shieldbug had ever been found. We now expect to hear of records further in to London and the country.
The spread of this species is likely to be a result of the warming climate and similar movements can be seen across a range of other species.
If you are out and about and find Black Horehound, do check it for this extremely smart new addition to our Hemipteran fauna.
For an introduction to the Butterflies of Wanstead Park and Flats see this video from Tim Harris:
The Wren Recording Area
A short presentation outlining our local patch and the grid squares to use for recording purposes.
Click on the pdf below:
WREN Conservation Group
Virtual Field Meeting
After the summer Break we welcome Rebecca Wallbank from Froglife who will talk about the wonderful amphibians that inhabit our ponds and lakes.
Monday 28th September at 19-30
Details of this Zoom Meeting will be posted soon
Plans for the Restoration of the Mortuary Site on Manor Park Flats revealed:
click link below to download and read
WREN Conservation Group – Virtual Field Meeting
29th July 19-30
Tony Madgwick will talk about Recording Invertebrate sightings and integrating these into National data.
Followed by business
To join the Zoom Meeting go to :
VFM 12 Discovering Reptiles
with Ben Harris
Video link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZm9JawevPo
VFM 11 Which garden plants attract the most bees? with Rosy Rollings
Video link here:
VFM 10 Butterflies of an East London patch
with Tim Harris
Video link here:
VFM No 9 Wildlife reports from our patch in East London
VFM No 8 An introduction to Flowers and Insect Pollination
with Tricia Moxey (Naturalist)
See blog page for a video of this talk and discussion with references.
VFM No 7 Identifying and recording Ladybirds
with Helen Roy
See the video of the event below:
VFM No 6 An introduction to the special trees of the Wanstead Area
with local naturalist Tricia Moxey
VFM No 5 An introduction to Damselflies and Dragonflies from Tony Madgwick
VFM No 4 What’s flying around your garden at night?
An Introduction to Garden Moths
See a video of the Meeting on the blog page
our sightings into