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Scolopostethus cf. affinis
Family: Lygaeidae

A difficult genus including some common species; all have one large and several small spines on the underside of the front femur. The sides of the pronotum have a large and obvious pale spot just behind the middle.

The critical features in S. affinis are the short wing membrane, about 3X wider than long, and the antennal pattern; the 1st and 2nd segments are pale, and the 3rd and 4th segments dark (although the base of the 3rd is often pale also). It is sometimes found with fully developed wings (below), in which case the pronotum is generally narrower than normal. Common in leaf litter on a variety of soil, often below nettle clumps.

Compare: S. thomsoni
, S. decoratus

Adult: All year
Length 3.5-4.5 mm
Scolopostethus affinis
Adult: north London (August 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

macropter
Scolopostethus affinis
Adult macropter: north London (May 2007) ©Tristan Bantock

Adult: Cheshire (March 2008) ©Shane Farrell

Scolopostethus affinis detail
Adult: north London (May 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Detail of femoral spine: Sussex (September 2007) ©Brian Valentine