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Harpocera thoracica
Family: Miridae

A handsome bug which is very common throughout the UK on oak. The sexes are dimorphic and very different in appearance; males are more elongate in shape, with longer tibiae and a distinctive inflated 2nd antennal segment.

Adults appear in the spring and are short-lived (particularly males), the species spending almost all the year in the egg stage and larval development taking only 2 weeks. The reddish nymphs are covered in dark hairs and the two basal antennal segments are thickened. Males are attracted to UV light and may be found in moth traps.

Adult: May-June
Length c6 mm

Harpocera thoracica male
Adult male: Berks (May 2009) ©Jonathan Michaelson

Harpocera thoracica male Harpocera thoracica male
Adult male: north London (April 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Adult male: north London (May 2008) ©Tristan Bantock
Harpocera thoracica female Harpocera thoracica female
Adult female: north London (May 2008) ©Tristan Bantock
Adult female: (May 2007) ©Brian Kilford

Harpocera thoracica nymph Harpocera thoracica nymph
Final instar nymph: Berks (April 2009) ©Jonathan Michaelson

Final instar nymph: Kent (April 2009) ©John Jeffery