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Rhyparochromus vulgaris

Taxonomy
Kingdom:Phylum:Class:Order:Family:Genus:Species:
AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaHemipteraLygaeidaeRhyparochromusR. vulgaris


A bug of elongated shape and black, dark brown and whitish patterns on its wings and body. The head is mostly black, the scutellum (=triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the forewing bases) is black, the wing membrane is dark. The striking feature are two black dots on the wing shields. With its length of 7-8mm it is a relatively small sized representative of Hemiptera.

It inhabits the whole of Europe (except of the Northern parts), in Asia, North Africa and in North America. It can also be found on the British Isles where it is a relatively recent immigrant. In some areas of Western USA, Rhyparochromus vulgaris occurs in such huge numbers that it is considered a pest. In search of shelter to overwinter the bugs invade houses and buildings and hence are a nuisance to people.
Mating takes place in the spring, adult insects can be found from June. Rhyparochromus vulgaris overwinters as adult.

These insects feed on seeds which they prick open with the proboscis and suck up the content. They feed on a variety of seeds of plants like nettles, strawberries, elms and many others.



It can easily be confused with R. pini. The overall appearance of R. pini is darker though. The feature to pay attention to are whitish patterns on both sides of R.vulgaris' pronotum. R.pini's pronotum lacks these white markings.
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