Mating Dock Bugs on bramble leaves

Dock Bugs

I was looking at the fresh new leaf shoots on some rapidly developing brambles yesterday when I suddenly realised that I had rudely interrupted a pair of mating Dock Bugs (Coreus marginatus) – a type of Shield Bug. They are herbivorous true bugs (Hemiptera) between 13 and 15 mm long, and they feed on the leaves and seeds of dock and sorrel plants; common throughout Europe, Asia, and northern Africa; and often found in dense vegetation like hedgerows and wasteland. This pair kept walking around on the blackberry leaves, joined together in tandem, and were not at all disturbed by my attentions.