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Saldula opacula
Family: Saldidae

This genus comprises 11 rather oval saldids which have an entirely dark pronotum and forewings which completely overlap. There are several very similar species which are often difficult to identify.

S. opacula
is relatively easily recignised from its small size and forewing markings, although care must be taken to separate it from the marginella form of S. saltatoria. The lateral margin of the corium is entirely pale except for the extreme base and apex; a white spot is inclosed within a black line that runs alongside the pale band. The bug is relatively small, and appears more reflective than many other Saldula species. The ratio of second to first antennal segments (1.7-1.8) can help to separate it from S. saltatoria v. marginella (1.9-2.0).

This bug has a strangely bimodal habitat: coastal saltmarshes, and the shores of high-altitude lochans and pools. It occurs rarely in Norfolk and Suffolk, but appears to be widespread, if uncommon, in Scotland.

Compare: S. saltatoria, S. palustris

Adult: June-September
Length 3.5-4 mm
Saldula opacula
Adult: Inverness-shire (September 2010) ©Joe Botting


Saldula opacula


Adult: Inverness-shire (September 2010) ©Joe Botting