Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Firebugs and a spider

These red and black bugs are called 'Fire bugs' in english and 'Gendarmes' [military soldier- the now have a blue uniform but the original uniform in the 16th century was a red velvet coat ,'soldats' [soldiers] , 'punaise au corps de feu' [bug with a firey body] and 'cherche-midi' [midday seeker] in french.

Pyrrhocoris apterus is the latin name for this bug - the red and black colours are to warn off predators. There are a lot of similarly coloured insects with similar body shapes and markings - birds quickly realise that some of these red and black bugs taste horrible so they avoid anything with the same colours.

I like these particular bugs becuase they have markings that look like African masks or painted shields.

Here is one perched on a metal fence - they look quite friendly somehow- i think its the cheery [to humans] colour scheme.

This was one on the other side of the fence climbing away from the camera. I liked seeing the underside of the beast as well as the hairs on the leaves.

A different fire bug - they seem to congregate together- there were 20 or 30 on this bushy plant- though most were out of reach of the camera.
I like the how the shiny red eyes turned out in this photo
This is a spider that was walking around our house- it wasn't very big - though the close up makes it look huge.


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kate mills said...

Hello, we have just been to France as our parents are relocating there to enjoy all france has to offer!
we saw thes bugs in thier garden and have been trying to find out more about them! your site contains brilliant information and has been very helpfull, its good to be able to put a name to them,just hope they dont damage the plant life as there are hundreds of them!