Historical it was mainly found in the Mediterranean Basin, including North Africa, but beginning in the 1970s, it has been found further north, into the Benelux counties, Central Europe and Eastern Europe.
Oxycarenus lavaterae can reach a length of 4.5–5.4 millimetres (0.18–0.21 in) in adult females, of 4.2–5 millimetres (0.17–0.20 in) in males. Adult bugs are mostly red and black colored. The head, the entire prothorax, the scutellum and the antennae are black. The upper part of the abdomen is brick-red, while the connexivum is blackish. The front wings are colorless and transparent and reach the top of the abdomen or are a little longer. The nymphs can be easily recognized by their black head and the red-colored abdomen. The wing pads of the nymphs are completely black.
There have usually two annual generations. These bugs are found on and feed upon plants in the Malvaceae family, such as Lavatera (hence the species name), Althea, Hibiscus, and Malva. They are considered an invasive pest in some countries.
In warmer countries Oxycarenus lavaterae hibernates as adults. These bugs forms large aggregates on trunks and branches of the trees to winter over, typically on lime trees (Tilia)(Tilia americana, Tillia cordata, Tillia parviflora, Tillia platyphyllos), less frequently on other plants (Populus, Platanus, Aesculus hippocastanum).
- "EPPO Reporting Service: No. 1" (PDF). Paris: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. 1 January 2010. p. 12. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 January 2014.
- Fauna europaea
- Oldřich Nedvěd, Evgeni Chehlarov, Plamen Kalushkov Life History of the Invasive Bug Oxycarenus lavaterae(Heteroptera: Oxycarenidae) in Bulgaria
- British Bugs
- Kalushkov, Plamen (2000). "Observations on the biology of Oxycarenus lavaterae (Fabricius)(Heteroptera: Lygaeidae), a new Mediterranean species in the Bulgarian fauna". Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. 52 (1): 13&ndash, 15. Abstract
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