British Bugs
HOME A BIT ABOUT BUGS GALLERY SYSTEMATIC LISTS RECORDING BUGS CONTACT US LINKS

Pyrrhocoris apterus Firebug
Family: Pyrrhocoridae

This common European bug is on the northernmost edge of its range in Britain and is the sole member of its family to occur here. A very distinctive red and black species which should be unmistakeable; be sure to rule out Corizus hyoscyami which is superficially similar. Only brachypterous adults have ever been found in Britain. 

Very rare and historically known only from a single Devon population, with sporadic reports from the mainland. A colony was found in Surrey which persisted for about ten years; although this now may no longer be present, a further colony was reported in 2008 from Sussex.

This species is associated with tree-mallow and limes, feeding on the fruits. It forms dense and conspicuous aggregations in the spring, prior to mating.

Adult: All year
Length 8.5-10 mm
Pyrrhocoris apterus
Adult: Jersey (August 2008) ©Tim Ransom


Pyrrhocoris apterus
Adults: Jersey (February 2009) ©Tim Ransom