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Scolopostethus affinis
Family: Lygaeidae

A difficult genus including some common species; all have one large and several small spines on the front femur. The sides of the pronotum are keeled and have a large and obvious pale spot just behind the middle. Underside characters are important in most species and specimens should be collected for reliable identification.

In S. affinis the 1st and 2nd antennal segments are pale and the base of the 3rd may be also. The mesosternum (the area of the abdominal underside in front of the middle legs) bears a pair of obvious curved tubercles in males and a pair of smaller inconspicuous tubercles in females (see below). These are usually very difficult to see in live specimens or photographs. Adults may be brachypterous or macropterous.

Common and widespread in various habitats and often associated with Stinging Nettles Urtica dioica.

Compare: S. thomsoni
, S. puberulus, S. grandis

Adult: All year
Length 3.3-4.0 mm
Scolostethus affinis
Adult: north London (August 2014) ©Tristan Bantock

Scolopostethus affinis
Scolopostethus affinis
Adult: north London (August 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Adult: north London (May 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Scolopostethus affinis detail
Adult male showing conspicuous curved mesoternal tubercles ©Brian Valentine
Adult female showing inconspicuous mesoternal tubercles ©Brian Valentine