Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods) ➔ Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods) ➔ Class Insecta (Insects) ➔ Order Hemiptera (Hemipterans) ➔ Family Rhyparochromidae (Dirt-colored seed bugs)
Gastrodes abietum Bergroth, 1914
Fichtenzapfenwanze Spruce Cone Bug
Distribution:Europe; east to Siberia.
Habitat:In coniferous and mixed forests on spruce; in mountainous areas up to the tree line.
Description:Length 5.9 - 7.2 mm; body very flat, broadly oval; pronotum predominantly black in front, rear part and lateral margins yellowish brown; legs brown, front femora especially of the males thickened, toothed; first antennal segment barely protruding beyond the head.
Similar species:The Spruce Cone Bug Gastrodes abietum is distinguished from the similar Pine Cone Bug Gastrodes grossipes by the length of the first antennal segment, which is longer in Gastrodes grossipes and protrudes clearly beyond the head, by the light side edges of the front of the pronotum and by their mostly somewhat paler appearance.
Biology:Gastrodes abietum lives mostly on Norway spruce (Picea abies). In spring, flying adults are often found in the vegetation at forest edges.
After hibernation and mating the females of Gastrodes abietum lay their eggs in spruce cones from the previous year in April/May. The larvae go through 5 larval stages and can be found from May to July. The adults of the new generation appear in July. The imagines and larvae suck on the seeds and needles of spruces, their host plants. However, they have also been found on other coniferous species, e.g. larches.
Gastrodes abietum hibernates as imago. Sometimes also larvae can hibernate. The bugs spend the winter in the cones, rarely also under bark scales of trees.
References, further reading, links:
- Michael Chinery: Pareys Buch der Insekten: über 2000 Insekten Europas, Verlag Kosmos, 2004, 326 Seiten, ISBN 3440099695, 9783440099698.
- Hans-Jürgen Hoffmann: Die Namen der Wanzen – lateinisch und deutsch, sowie deren Betonung, HETEROPTERON Heft 34 /2011, S. 17-33, ISSN 1432-3761.