Wiltshire first as rare bug found in Melksham

Gill Cardy's photograph of the Box Bug

Gill Cardy's photograph of the Box Bug

First published in Melksham
Last updated

A rare squash bug, commonly known as a Box Bug, has been spotted for the first time in Wiltshire - in a Melksham nature reserve.

The goncerus acuteangulatus - its common name comes from its main food source, the Box tree - was found in the centre of Melksham, on Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Conigre Mead nature reserve.

The discovery was made by Gill Cardy, a volunteer warden at the reserve, and she said: “It’s thrilling to have found such a rare bug right on our doorstep.

"We run regular workshops at the reserve, on lots of topics to help people learn more about the natural environment, such as plants, bugs, and birds.

"We were conducting a workshop on plant identification when I spotted the Box Bug. I was excited, took some photographs and sent them in to be identified. I was delighted when it was confirmed as such a rare bug.”

The Box bug was originally only found in Box Hill, Surrey but is believed to be expanding across the south east.

As shown by this latest discovery, it is now making its way south west, as well as developing a taste for new food sources such as Hawthorn, Buckthorn and Yew trees.

Melksham's Conigre Mead is a popular space for the town's residents and features grass meadows, which already provide home to a large number of butterflies and dragonflies as well as water shrews and grass snakes.

Comments (1)

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6:54pm Mon 17 Mar 14

beetawix says...

Perhaps this rare bug's presence in Melkshamj could be due to a navigational error causing it to head for Box in Wiltshire.
Perhaps this rare bug's presence in Melkshamj could be due to a navigational error causing it to head for Box in Wiltshire. beetawix
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