On 12th December 2019, botanist Joshua Styles emailed me to say that he had come across a “peculiar shieldbug” hiding in a plastic bag used to store seed of Berry Catchfly (Silene baccifera) in his Churchtown garden (SD3619). Accompanying photos looked like Woundwort Shieldbug (Eysarcoris venustissimus) and so it transpired when the tiny (6 mm) creature was dropped off the following day (Fig. 1). Associated with Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica), White Deadnettle (Lamium album) and Black Horehound (Ballota nigra), the Woundwort Shieldbug is widespread in southern Britain, extending northwards to Yorkshire and Cheshire.
Judd (2010) reported specimens for Cheshire (VC58) between 1997 and 2010, stating that it should be looked for in Lancashire but, so far, none had been reported. It turns out that Josh’s seed had been sent from Norfolk, so it looks as though his Woundwort Shieldbug is not a genuine first for South Lancashire after all. Perhaps one will be found in 2020 by sweeping its foodplants.
Judd, S. (2010). First Lancashire and Cheshire records of true bugs (Hemiptera, Heteroptera) with revised county checklists. Journal of the Lancashire and Cheshire Entomological Society 133, 134: 51-61.