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Geotomus are small shieldbugs which have sparse long hairs around the margins of the head, pronotum and forewings. There are sometimes reddish-brown markings on the corium and rear margin of the pronotum.
Although there are slight differences in body shape between the two British species, examination of the male parameres provides the only conclusive means of identification. These are pointed in G. punctulatus and flat-topped in G. petiti (see below).
G. petiti was discovered as new to Britain in 2019, when several large colonies were found at Dungeness RSPB Reserve. Adults and nymphs were associated with the roots of Common Stork's-bill Erodium cicutarium growing in sandy ground and this seems to be a likely host plant. On the continent the species is known from sand dunes in northern France and has recently been recorded for the first time in Belgium.
Adult: All year
Length 3.0-4.5 mm
|Adult: Kent (June 2019) ©Tristan
|Male parameres: G. punctulatus (L), G. petiti (R) ©Tristan Bantock