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Lygus maritimus
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 corium, and are visible only at high resolution. Characters given by Southwood & Leston (1959) are misleading; the above reference (Nau, 2004) summarises current knowledge.

Although similar to greenish forms of L. pratensis, this species is slightly smaller. There is sparse pubescence on the corium; the lateral spacing of the hairs is generally > hair length (see below). The pronotum is broad (width >1.5x the length of the 2nd antennal segment) and often rose-tinged towards the posterior. The dark or rosy markings on the clavus and posterior half of the corium are variable.

Distributed locally in coastal and sandy areas across the UK, exploiting a range of foodplants including sorrel, gorse, clovers, scentless mayweed and many Compositae.

Compare L. pratensis, L. rugulipennis

Adult: All year
Length 5.0-6.0 mm
Lygus maritimus
Adult: north London (September 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Lygus maritimus detail Lygus maritimus
Adult: Detail of corium ©Tristan Bantock

Adult: north London (September 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Lygus maritimus Lygus maritimus
Adult: north London (September 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Adult: Cambs (August 2007) ©Will George
Lygus maritimus nymph
Nymph: north London (July 2008) ©Tristan Bantock