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Possibly one of the early stages of a shield bug
Take a look at this link which was previously sent to me when I found the young stages of the pied shield bug
See red form mid instar nymph
Chris Brooks - www.dragonfly-images.co.uk
My Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ceb1298
I agree with Chris' identification but thought it may be useful to some to mention the potential similarity with the nymph of the Blue Shieldbug Zicrona caerulea (http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Pentatomidae/zicrona_caerulea....) which is what i may well have identified this as if i'd got here first!
In comparison the difference seems to be mostly noticeably as Chris points out in the first dark 'plate' on the abdomen which in this picture is broken but in the Blue is complete, also as Chris mentions there is red in the antenna and red speckling in the forward thoratic plates.
This is Patrick's Mummy - we have been looking at the insect again and think it might be the red nymph of a blue shield bug. Thank you so much for all the responses and the links, he is very, very excited and interested - this little boy lives, sleeps and breathes insects and has been fascinated by the bug since his friend found it on Tuesday. We see a lot of adult Hawthorn and other Shield Bugs in this area, it is great to have a name to put to them.
Lat/Lng: 55.95, -3.22
OS grid ref: NT239736
My friend found this for me in the school playground.