Order Heteroptera, family Miridae

Leaf bugs and grass bugs.

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Deraeocoris flavilinea (A. Costa, 1862)

Deraeocoris flavilinea
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 28 Jun 2015
  • Subfamily: Deraeocorinae. Tribe: Deraeocorini
  • Female - males are darker.
  • First noted in Britain in 1996: already widely established and common across south and central Britain.
  • Principal host-plants are sycamore and field maple.
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Deraeocoris lutescens (Schilling, 1837)

Deraeocoris lutescens
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 20 Aug 2015
  • Subfamily: Deraeocorinae. Tribe: Deraeocorini
  • Notable for the clear parts at the tip of the elytra giving the insect a truncated appearance.
  • A predatory bug found particularly on oak trees.
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Red Bug Deraeocoris ruber (Linnaeus, 1758)

Deraeocoris ruber
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 8 Jul 2001
  • Length: 7mm
  • "Common in southern England & Wales. Larvae and adults feed on small insects, especially aphids; they are found on many plants and bushes, particularly nettles. The amount of black and red colouring in the adults varies greatly but the males are normally much the darker sex."—Southwood & Leston
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Campyloneura virgula (Herrich-Schäffer 1836)

Campyloneura virgula
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 22 Jul 2002
  • Subfamily: Dicyphinae.
  • Distinguished by the yellow cunei - the tips of the hardened portion of the forewings.
  • "This species is found throughout the British Isles on a wide variety of trees, especially hawthorn, hazel and oak; the male is very rare and the species is perhaps usually parthenogenetic. Predacious." - Southwood & Leston
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Lucerne bug Adelphocoris lineolatus (Goeze, 1778)

Adelphocoris lineolatus
  • Cambridge, Barnwell East LNR TL479583: 28 Jul 2015
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Mirini
  • A common bug on legumes such as lucerne, restharrow, clovers and vetches.
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Capsus ater (Goeze, 1778)

Capsus ater
  • Cambridge, Perse Girls School Reserve TL446570. 21 Jun 2016
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Mirini
  • Distinguished by the swollen second antenna segments.
  • Feeds low down on grass stems.
  • Widespread. NBN gateway


Potato capsid Closterotomus norwegicus (Gmelin, 1790)

Closterotomus norvegicus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 22 Jun 2002
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Mirini
  • There are many greenish mirids - this one has red-brown markings, and two small black marks on the pronotum (see enlargement)
  • "In most parts of the British Isles this bug is common on mixed herbage in hedgerows, at the margins of woods or rivers and in neglected pastures and gardens. It feeds on the growing points, buds, flowers and unripe fruits, of a large range of plants, especially nettles, composites (including scentless mayweed, mugwort, ragwort and thistles) and clovers. Sometimes it is a minor pest of potatoes, carrots or chrysanthemums." - Southwood & Leston
  • - Also, apparently, (when it can get it!) Cannabis (McPartland, 1996)
  • Before 1997 the accepted name was Calocoris norvegicus
  • Larger scale image
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Common Nettle Capsid Liocoris tripustulatus (Fabricius, 1781)

Liocoris tripustulatus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 23 Jun 2001
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Mirini
  • Length: 4.5mm
  • "This bug is found on nettles throughout the British Isles. Adults of both sexes overwinter but the males become scarce by early June, when oviposition starts. All stages are plant feeders and attack buds, stems and especially flowers and fruits of nettle. Young adults are light yellow-brown but after hibernation a deep chocolate colour, with the yellow spots now orange." - Southwood & Leston
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Common Green Capsid Lygocoris pabulinus (Linnaeus, 1761)

Lygocoris pabulinus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 16 Jun 2001
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Mirini
  • Length: 6mm
  • "Found commonly and abundantly throughout the British Isles this bug has two generations a year and two groups of host-plants: woody plants in which the egg overwinters and on which the young spring larvae feed for a short time, and herbaceous plants where most of the development occurs. Woody hosts include hawthorn, apple, currant, plum, cherry and lime; the herbaceous ones include nettle, creeping thistle, groundsel, dandelion, black nightshade, potato, bittersweet, white deadnettle, sunflower, dock, fat hen, meadowsweet, rosebay willow-herb and common cow-wheat; plants such as raspberry, rose and elder may serve as hosts throughout the year.

    L. pabulinus is often a pest. The young larvae of the first generation damage currants, plums, apples, gooseberries and pears, their feeding punctures producing brown spots which form holes as the leaves grow or blemishes on the fruit, especially of gooseberry and pear. The later stages of the first generation and all stages of the second attack blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, potatoes and sugar-beet." - Southwood & Leston

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Pinalitus cervinus (Herrich-Schäffer, 1841)

Pinalitus cervinus
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 31 Jul 2015
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Mirini
  • Around 4mm long, usually pale golden-brown, but sometimes may be red-brown or even greenish.
  • Often found on lime, but also hazel, ash and ivy.
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Polymerus nigrita (Fallén, 1807)

Polymerus nigrita
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 31 Jul 2015
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Mirini
  • Sometimes listed as Polymerus nigritus. Fallén named it Lygaeus nigrita so nigrita must be a noun in apposition, not an adjective, and does not agree in gender with the genus name.
  • Common on bedstraws (Galium spp.) in a variety of habitats.
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Plagiognathus arbustorum (Fabricius, 1794)

Plagiognathus arbustorum
  • Gwydir Street 16 Jul 2015
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Phylini
  • Found on a range of plants, particularly nettles.
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Meadow Plant Bug Leptopterna dolabrata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Leptopterna dolabrata
  • West Cambridge (TL4258) 24 Jun 2008
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Stenodemini
  • The yellow-brown males are fully winged; the females mainly brachypterous as seen here
  • "Timothy grass, couch grass, meadow foxtail, cocksfoot and Yorkshire fog are its chief food-plants." - Southwood & Leston
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Notostira elongata (Geoffroy, 1785)

Notostira elongata
  • Stourbridge Common TL469597; 8 Jul 2014
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Stenodemini
  • Sexually dimorphic, the females are much paler and appear similar to Stenodema laevigata.
  • Common in grasslands throughout southern Britain. NBN gateway


Grass Bug Stenodema laevigatum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Stenodema laevigatum
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 25 May 2001
  • Subfamily: Mirinae. Tribe: Stenodemini
  • Length: 8.5mm
  • "Larvae and adults feed on various grasses, particularly meadow foxtail, timothy, red fescue, common bent and wavy hair-grass; they are especially fond of the flowering heads, sucking the flower buds and unripe grains. There is one generation a year; the larvae become adult in late July or August." - Southwood & Leston
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Heterotoma planicornis (Pallas, 1772)

Heterotoma merioptera
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street: 10 Jul 2007
  • Subfamily: Orthotylinae. Tribe: Orthotylini
  • Length: 5mm (not including the antennae)
  • Distinctive with its thickened antennae extended forward
  • Often referenced in English authors as Heterotoma merioptera (Scopoli, 1763), but the prevailing view appears to be that the name H. merioptera correctly applies to an eastern European species, occuring e.g. in Croatia. The difficulty seems unlikely to ever be resolved conclusively as the original type specimens are lost. See discussion at Wild About Britain.
  • "In southern England it is abundant on rank vegetation, especially nettles, and on various shrubs and trees. The young red larvae hatch from the overwintered eggs at the end of May or in early June; the majority reach the adult stage during the last half of July and some adults have been found as late as October. Both larvae and adults are predatory on aphids and other small insects, besides feeding on buds and unripe fruits of various plants." - Southwood & Leston
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