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Psallus betuleti

In most of Western Europe there are some 6 species in the genus Psallus. All are small, hairy bugs and all are very hard to tell apart. Psallus betuli for instance looks like Psallus montanus a lot. The latter however is smaller, rarer and has bigger eyes. Females of both species have a lot of red accents, including a partially red antenna. Males show only very few red accents. The animal in the picture is a male. Telling the species apart should be left to a specialist, for often it is a combination of characteristics that give away the exact species.

Psallus betuli measures up to 5.7 mm. Typical for this species is that males are usually bigger than females. After overwintering the egg hatches in spring. Both the larvae and the adults suck on the leaves of the host plant, but both also love to suck dry aphids. The first adults appear by the beginning of June and are seen till the end of July. As the scientific names suggests Psallus betuleti is mainly found on birch. Rarely it is found on willow. It is a common species, which can be found where ever the host plant is present, including parks and gardens. This species is present in Europe, Northern Asia (but excluding China) and Northern America.