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Macrosteles variatus

The genus Macrosteles is comprised of quite a few hard to identify species. In many cases the animal has to be dissected to determine the right species. Macrosteles variatus is the big exception, for it has specific colours: blueish with yellow or greyish brown patches. The only look-a-like is Macrosteles quadripunctatus, which is smaller and it has spots, not patches of yellow or greyish brown. Macrosteles variatus measures 4 to 4.5 mm and is often found in woodland or nearby grasslands. It is found on Common Nettle mainly, but may suck on other plants as well. The first animals appear by the end of April and the last adults are often seen in October. We do not know in which stage it is overwintering. A common species all over Europe in or near woodland.