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Blue Bug Zicrona caerulea

The name of the Blue Bug is very well choosen. For usually it is greenish blue metallic. Like so many other animals with metallic colouring, the colour may vary. In this case it may be greenish, copperlike, blue or lilac. This depends on the reflection of the light. But usually the Blue Bug doesn't show a lot of variation in colouring. The larvae are very different. They are black with patches of red on the abdomen. Adult Blue Bugs are capable of flying, but rarely do so. Reaching a length of 5 to 8mm, this is our smallest Shield Bug. Often it isn't even noticed, because of the size and the reclusive conduct.

The first Blue Bug larvae are usually seen in late spring. Like the adults they suck on insect larvae, as well as on plants. In our garden they hunt for the larvae of Altica oleracea mainly. That is a small, blueish Leaf Beetle that lives on our Primroses in great numbers. The Blue Bug will not visit all gardens, though, for it loves heaths, moors and the edges of forests and is only found nearby such areas.