Hi everyone. I'm trying to find out what this insect is. I found hundreds of them crawling up the outside walls of my house today. Any help would be much appreciated.
They are nymphs of a shield bug, possibly forget-me-not sheild bug, Sehirus luctosus
You'll see from the distribution map here, that this species occurs in the SE half of the UK
There's a useful reference for such bugs here
Nymphs of shield bugs often occur in good numbers locally.
Actually Mike, I may have spoken too soon. I was looking for the marking down the back and thought you'd nailed it but looking again, there are gaps on the shield bug but mine doesn't have gaps. I'll try to get a better photo today.
My money is on Heterogaster urticae (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae), the Nettle bug. It's quite variable in abdominal colour but consistently has stripy legs. It can also be very abundant especially near good patches of nettles. Here are some great images by Jonathan Michaelson on the UK Bugs website - Jonathan is a resident Forum identifier.
Bombus' - good call
I've learned something here today.
Bugshem - please retract your 'correct answer' on my original reply.
Hi all, I've been looking all day but my guests seem to have moved on, there is no sign of them. I'll keep watching but I'm convinced that bombus' is correct so, thanks for all your input, particularly bombus of course.
Until next time.