Head down your garden and peer among the flowers, grasses and plant pots. You will find an amazing range of little creatures. From shieldbugs to spiders, from froghoppers to flower beetles, the FSC Garden bugs and beasties fold-out guide features the commonest minibeasts you will find in a garden.
These minibeasts are invertebrates, animals without a backbone. Some invertebrates like slugs are soft bodied. Others have a hard exoskeleton and three or more pairs of legs. These are the arthropods, a very diverse large and diverse group of animals.
You can find minibeasts just about anywhere in the garden. Check long grass and bushes for spider webs. Shieldbugs may be perched among the leaves, and froghopper nymphs hidden in frothy piles of cuckoo spit. Examine the vegetable garden for tell tale signs of slugs and snails – shiny dried mucus trails to show where they were travelling. Holes in plant leaves show that something has been feeding. Have a look and see if you can find the culprit. Look on young plant stems and under leaves for aphids. Butterflies, bees and hoverflies can all be seen visiting flowers. If you look closely at the flower heads you may find earwigs and small flower beetles.
Lift pots and stones to find minibeasts sheltering underneath like slugs, earthworms and woodlice. The compost heap will be home to the recyclers – animals feeding on decaying plant material. You will also find predators like centipedes and rove beetles out hunting for a meal. Also don’t forget to look among the short grass in the lawn. You might find beetles scurrying through or earthworms wriggling, especially after rain.