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Himacerus apterus Tree Damsel Bug
Family: Nabidae

This genus has a black connexivum with orange-red spots, and rather reddish-brown wings. H. apterus is normally micropterous, the wings not reaching beyond the 3rd or 4th abdominal segment. It is best separated from the smaller H. mirmicoides by the longer antennae ( length of thorax + abdomen), shorter wings and longer hairs on the hind tibiae (almost twice the width of the tibia itself).

Unlike other UK nabids, this is a tree-dwelling bug, found on decidous species and less frequently on conifers, where it feeds on mites, aphids and other small insects. It is common in much of England and Wales, becoming scarcer further north.

Adults lay eggs in late summer which hatch the following spring; larvae may be found May-August. The new adult generation is complete from July onwards. 


Adult: July-October
Length 8-11 mm

Himacerus apterus
Adult female: Berks (July 2009) ©Jonathan Michaelson

Himacerus apterus Himacerus apterus
Adult female: south Wales (August 2006) ©Ian Tew

Adult female: Berks (August 2008) ©Jonathan Michaelson

Himacerus apterus Himacerus apterus
Adult male: Bucks (September 2008) ©Bruce Williams

Adult male: Berks (August 2008) ©Jonathan Michaelson
Himacerus apterus Himacerus apterus nymph
Adult male: Cambs (August 2007) ©Will George
Early instar nymph: south London (May 2007) ©Joe Botting

Himacerus apterus Himacerus apterus nymph
Early instar nymph: Berks (June 2009) ©Jonathan Michaelson

Late instar nymph: (July 2008) ©Brian Kilford