Although both theses beasts present in scarlet and black stripes, one is a beetle (on the left) and one is a bug (on the right).The rather hairy beetle was photographed in June in a friend's garden at Roux, near Preuilly-sur-Claise. It is Trichodes alvearius, a common beetle of flowers, especially umbellifers (although in this case, on a hollyhock). Both adults and larvae are carnivorous and predate bees and their larvae. I confirmed the species using a key sent to me by my friend John (who spent his holidays in the 1990s surveying water and reed beetles in la Brenne). The key was in German, but I'm sure the challenge has made me a better person.
The bug is Graphosoma italicum, also abundant on umbellifers - this one is on Rough Chervil. According to my friend Big Ger, Interpretation and Infrastructure Officer at RSPB Rainham Marshes, this guy is wearing Dundee United strip. Curiously my field guide doesn't mention this connection, but does point out that the colour is a warning of foul taste. The photograph was taken in May at Montrésor, one of the 'plus beaux villages de France' and always a good place for a spot of demoiselle watching.
PS Can someone tell me whether the 't' in Montrésor is sounded or not? I had always assumed it was, thinking it was 'trésor' as in 'Trésor public', (and therefore Treasure Mountain) but our blogger 'neighbour' Ken's post on Montrichard set me wondering.
The naming of names:
Trichodes alvearius - 'trichodes' = 'hairy'.
Le Clairon des abeilles, le Clairon commun ou le Clairon des ruches - 'bee bugle', 'common bugle' or 'hive bugle'.
Graphosoma italicum - 'Italian lined body'
La Punaise arlequin - 'harlequin bug'.
Chaerophyllum temulentum - 'chaero' = 'to rejoice', 'phyllum' = 'leaf' - this is a 'Lego word' according to Wordsmith ie a word created using combining forms; 'temulentum' = 'drunken'. (No, I've not tested it, and the bug wasn't behaving inappropriately in public.)
Le Cerfeuil penché - 'leaning chervil'.