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The Psallus group includes many small bugs (< 6 mm) which are often mottled red, grey or dark brown. The pronotum and forewings are covered in scale like pale hairs and the tibial spines arise from black spots.
Species identification of Psallus based on external features is often difficult and frequently impossible. However, the hostplant can be informative, and may narrow down the range of possibilities.
P. ambiguus is a larger species (> 4 mm) in which the 1st antennal segment is black and the 3rd segment pale. The 2nd segment is black in males, but partly pale over the basal half in females.
This bug is found commonly across the UK on a range of deciduous trees including apple, hawthorn, sallows and alder. The adults and larvae feed on small insects as well as the host trees.
Length 4-5 mm
|Adult female: Yorks (June 2008) ©Joe Botting
|Adult male: north Wales (June 2008) ©Tristan Bantock
||Adult male: north Wales (June 2008) ©Tristan Bantock