Ant Damsel Bug - Himacerus mirmicoides

    Description

    Length 7 to 8 mm. This genus has a black connexivum with orange-red spots, and rather reddish wings. H. mirmicoides is partly-winged (although there is a macropterus form) and may be separated from the larger H. apterus by the shorter antennae (< length of thorax + abdomen), longer wings and shorter hairs on the hind tibiae.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Usually found on the ground or amongst low herbage.

    When to see it

    Adult: All year.

    Life History

    Adults overwinter; mating and egg-laying takes place in the spring. The new generation is complete by August. Early instar larvae are strikingly ant-like, due to the spiny posterior angles of the 2nd & 3rd thoracic segments. There is also a short spine on the 2nd abdominal segment and the margins of the 2nd & 3rd are white, giving the illusion of a narrow waist. The thoracic projections are lost in later instars.

    UK Status

    This bug is common in southern Britain in a variety of dry open habitats.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map