Line Line
Stenodema calcarata

Within the genus Stenodema there are some 4 species recorded in Britain and in The Netherlands. Stenodema calcarata is one of them and a common species. Superficially it is the spitting image of the Grass Bug, but there are small differences in the puctuation, especially on the pronotum. But the best way to identify this species is by looking at the femur (or thigh) of the hind leg. It has two spurs, while there are no spurs on the femur of the Grass Bug. Another species, Stenodema trispinosa, has three spurs on the femur. The fourth species, Stenodema holsata, is less elongated and much broader than the other Stenodema species.

Measuring 6.5 to 8 mm Stenodema calcarata is a small Grass Bug. It usually is brownish or greyish, making the animal hard to spot in the grasses it sucks on. Fresh adults appear by the end of summer and overwinter. This happens in reet or conifers. After overwintering the females turn greenish, while males remain brownish. Depending on conditions the adults appear again in March or April. Now eggs are laid on grasses. The larvae soon appear and it is normal to see eggs, larvae and adults on one and the same plant at the same time. It is common all over Europe and Britain, but usually in drier conditions than it's cousin the Grass Bug prefers.