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Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus
find out more... Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus Copyright: Peter Harvey

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
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Harpocera thoracica bug

True bug of the season – Harpocera thoracica

If you find this species, please record it, either via your usual spreadsheet, or directly on the Essex Field Club website.

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female Harpocera thoracica
female Harpocera thoracica
copyright Yvonne Couch
Harpocera thoracica is a mirid bug that spends most of the year as an egg but can be found on oak in spring.  The eggs hatch as the oak buds start to open and the nymphs feed on the young leaves and catkins.  Nymphs are red-brown and the first 2 antennal segments are thickened. They become adult after a couple of weeks, male and female adults having different appearances.  The male has an obviously expanded tip to its second antennal segment, which is used to help hold the female during mating; its body is elongated compared to the female, and the hind tibia are longer.  Males are attracted to UV light so may be seen in moth traps, but are quite short lived.  Females have a 2-tone pronotum, and may be found until early June, by which time they have laid their eggs on oak.

male Harpocera thoracica
male Harpocera thoracica
copyright Yvonne Couch

5th instar Harpocera thoracica
5th instar Harpocera thoracica
copyright Yvonne Couch