Pyrrhocoris apterus

The Firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus) heralds the arrival of spring. It sounds trite, but it’s true. It appears with the first warming rays of sunshine and can be seen sunbathing as early as January.

sunbathing Firebugs
Sunbathing Firebugs in February.

Pyrrhocoris apterus is probably one of the most common Central European bugs. It inhabits gardens, parks, cemeteries, embankments, dams and can also be seen on roadsides.

Its preferred food plants are from the mallow family, and the Firebug sucks on their shoots. This is why it is not particularly popular with some gardeners. According to my own observations, however, it does not cause any significant damage to hibiscus, mallow and other plants.

Firebug on Burr Chervil
A fire bug enjoys the mild February sun on the leaves of Burr Chervil (Anthriscus caucalis).