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Unlike Aneurus species, the wing membrane in Aradus flatbugs does not extend below the apex of the scutellum. A. aterrimus is distinguished by the uniformly black colouration. In continental Europe the bug is often associated with burnt wood, on which it is perfectly camouflaged, but this has never been the case in Britain.
This species has always been an extreme rarity and although known historically from seven sites in Kent, it was only recorded sporadically. Until 2015, the most recent record was from a site in Sussex in 1977. The 2015 record relates to a single male found at a site near Faversham, Kent.
Most records, including the most recent, are associated with Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa coppice, where it is thought to feed on fungal growth amongst wood chippings. With the recent increase in the number of woodlands being managed for wood fuel and other wood products it is possible that this species will benefit and subsequently be found elsewhere.
Adult: All year
Length 5.0-9.0 mm
|Adult male: Kent (April 2015) ©Tristan Bantock