British Bugs

Lygus pratensis
Family: Miridae
Nau, B. S. (2004) Identification of plantbugs in the genus Lygus in Britain

This genus is one of the most problematic mirid groups to identify. The five UK species can overlap considerably in colour, markings and size; some specimens cannot be determined. The most reliable identification features concern the fine detaill of the middle of the corium, and are visible only at high resolution. 

Key features of L. pratensis:

- Pubescence on middle of corium dense; lateral spacing of the hairs generally = 0.5x hair length.
- Punctures on middle of corium separated by approximately a puncture width.
- Very variable in colouration and markings, but ground colour often pale with sharply defined dark markings.
- Larger (usually 6.25-7.0 mm, although smaller individuals sometimes occur).
Previously a rare southern species, but now widespread throughout much of England as far north as Yorkshire. The extremely similar L. wagneri is primarily a western and upland species, but also seems to be extending its range eastwards. Separation of these two species now requires even more caution in the light of potential range overlap.

Compare L. maritimus, L. rugulipennis, L. wagneri
Adult: All year
Lygus pratensis
Adult: Kent (August 2014) ©Tristan Bantock

Lygus pratensis Lygus pratensis
Adult: Detail of corium ©Tristan Bantock

Adult: north London (August 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Lygus pratensis Lygus pratensis
Adult: north London (September 2008) ©Tristan Bantock Adult: Cambs (August 2007) ©Will George

Lygus pratensis Lygus pratensis
Adult: north London (Octoberr 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Adult: Berks (September 2008) ©Jonathan Michaelson
Lygus pratensis Lygus pratensis
Nymph: south London (September 2005) ©Toby Barton

Nymph: Berks (October 2008) ©Jonathan Michaelson