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Oak Catkin Bug Harpocera thoracica

In most bugs the difference, if any, between males and females is small. But in the pictures here you see the Oak Catkin Bug. The male is depicted in the four upper pictures, while the female shows herself in the four bottom pictures. We first of all believed there were two species, but our friends of the Royal Antwerp Society for Entomology identified them and they really are one and the same species. Also note that the females are quite variable. The animals are quite beautiful, but very small indeed. The adults of Harpocera thoracica live for about one month only (May), the males even shorter. After being deposited the eggs remain eggs for some 10 months. The entire larval stages take up some two weeks only!