Ero aphana

    Description

    Ero aphana grows to about three millimetres long, the females being slightly larger than the males. The sternum is dark coloured with radiating pale markings in the posterior half and a larger, irregular pale blotch in the anterior half. The abdomen is broad and globular, light grey with darker brownish grey patches, two pairs of tubercles and sparse hairs growing out of orange spots. The legs are hairy and pale coloured with dark bands and one thin orange band. The front two pairs of legs bear a marginal row of long, curved spines. Where an image appears in a red box, this denotes that it is likely to be this species, but that this cannot be said with certainty - this species needs microscopic examination of an adult for a secure ID.

    Similar Species

    Ero tuberculata is very similar, with two pairs of tubercles on the abdomen but is found later in the year, from July to October with female persisting into the winter. Although E. tuberculata has not been found in VC55 yet it is probably extending its range northwards and confirmation therefore requires microscopic examination of adult specimens.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    Requires microscopic examination of adult specimens. 

    Habitat

    Dry lowland heathland and other vegetated habitat such as gardens. E. aphana has been typically found on dry heathland in the building and mature phases, with some patches of bare stony ground. Recent records have been from a variety of dry habitats, including gardens and brownfield sites.

    When to see it

    All year, but both sexes may be found most readily as adults from April to July, females persisting into August.

    UK Status

    Since 2000 it has started to appear widely in southern England, and as far north as Nottinghamshire. This species appears to be increasing rapidly, spreading to new habitats. This is a RDB2 species.

    VC55 Status

    Rare in our area - the Sapcote record of May 2013 is the first confirmed record for VC55 (Leicestershire and Rutland).

    Further Information

    141 British records for this species to 2015

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map