The Firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus) is a common insect from Europe and northwest China in the Hemiptera order and the Pyrrhocoridae family. It is related to Shield Bugs and Assassin Bugs.
The Firebug is bright red and black. It has a tear-drop shape body with red insets that have a large black dot and a small black dot. It has a small, jet black head and black legs. It has front wings (forewings) and back wings (hindwings).
It grows to about 2 centimetres (three quarters of an inch) long.
The Firebug eats seeds.
It prefers to live on or near the bark of trees, such as lime trees.
It is hemimetabolous, which means that it does not undergo metamorphosis. Instead, the life cycle includes only nymphs and adults.
The bright colour is used as a warning to its predators, such as birds. This is called aposematic warning (warning colouration).
[Location of photographs: Tbilisi, Georgia and Paris, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM