Foodplant / feeds on
Lygaeus equestris feeds on Taraxacum

Foodplant / feeds on
Lygaeus equestris feeds on Vincetoxicum


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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lygaeus equestris

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)


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Lygaeus equestris

Lygaeus equestris, common name Black-and-Red-bug, is a species of ground bugs belonging to the family Lygaeidae, subfamily Lygaeinae.


Lygaeus equestris, lateral view

These bugs can reach about 11 to 12 millimetres (0.43 to 0.47 in) in length. They have a characteristic red-black pattern, fully developed wings and long, powerful legs. The hemelytra have two transverse bands that reach the margin and a round white spot on the membrane. Scutellum is without bristles but with tiny hairs. The black band close to the eye is wider than the same.

This species is very difficult to differentiate from Lygaeus simulans, that has a scutellum with long bristles, antennae with angulous tubercles and a larger red area on the head.[1]

The red-black pattern has a deterrent effect and serves to protect the insect (Mullerian mimicry or Batesian mimicry). By storing the toxic ingredients of their food plants, they are unpalatable to potential predators.

These bugs feed on plant juices, particularly milkweed (Vincetoxicum hirundinaria),[2] Spring pheasant's eye (Adonis vernalis) and sometimes also on dandelions.


It is mainly present in Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and former Yugoslavia.[3]


  • Lygaeus equestris equestris (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Lygaeus equestris sicilianus (Wagner, 1955) [4]



  • O Kugelberg - 1977 - Distribution, feeding habits and dispersal of Lygaeus equestris. (Heteroptera) larvae in relation to food supply L. equestris
  • T. J. Henry: Phylogenetic analysis of family groups within the infraorder Pentatomomorpha (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), with emphasis on the Lygaeoidea. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 90: 275-301, 1997.
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