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Psallus cf. varians
Family: Miridae

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.

Several very similar Psallus species occur on oak, one of which is
P. varians. Identification is complex and ideally requires microscopic examination.

A common bug across the UK; the adults and larvae feeding on small insects as well as the host trees. 

Adult: May-August
Length ~4 mm

Psallus varians
Adult: north London (May 2008) ©Tristan Bantock

Psallus varians Psallus varians
Adult: Cheshire (June 2008) ©Shane Farrell
Adult: Cheshire (June 2008) ©Shane Farrell