Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus - a Mirid Bug

28th June 2012
It's Day-4 of National Insect Week. I've been trying to add a new insect blog every day during Insect Week and also to take the opportunity of learning something new.

There's no shortage of different insects available to us to photograph, that's why I concentrate on solitary bees. With just a few hundred species (!), that quite enough to get to grips with. Other things turn up though that catch our attention, that's what happened to me with this "bug". I was looking on an ivy plant when this specimen scuttled under a leaf, apparently aware of my approach. I carefully grasped and overturned the leaf and took this series of images.

The term "bug" is often used generically for all insects (and other invertebrates), but true bugs (the Hemiptera) represent one of the major groups of insects found in the UK, comprising nearly 2000 species. I know little about these, but recognised this as one by its typical sucking mouthparts, also seen in the other Hemiptera like aphids and shieldbugs. This tubular device (the rostrum) is used for piercing and sucking up fluids.

I posted an image on iSpot and a likely identification of Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus was kindly proposed by iSpot user Limnoporus. Presumably flavoquadrimaculatus means "four yellow spots"; that's apparent in some of the images. This bug is in the Family Miridae - the Mirid Bugs. It's 6-7mm in length and is a common species on oak throughout Britain during May and June. This specimen, although on ivy, was very close to a large oak.

If you would like to know more about our "true bugs" or need some help with identification then try the British Bugs website, an excellent online identification guide to UK Hemiptera.

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