Sign up to our regular e-newsletter here

Friday, 14 October 2016

German cousins

The striking firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus is very rare in the UK, known since at least 1865 from one Devon offshore islet site only, near Torquay, a Devon speciality. But it's common on the continent, here hitching a ride on my wrist at the Olympic stadium in Munich, where I was visiting last week.

Bug o'clock (photo: C. Kurz)

It feeds on tree mallow, especially the seeds, and on lime trees. 'apterus' means without wings, and is the distinguishing feature from other red and black bugs; it perhaps suggests why it hasn't been able to colonise the mainland yet, or since 1865.

For more information about Devon bugs, see Keith Alexander's excellent mini-article, from which some of the details above have been taken (link here - uploads Word document directly).

No comments:

Post a Comment