I find these creatures incredibly difficult to capture on camera because they are always on the move and are inclined to drop to the ground when they see my cam approaching. However, this one flew straight onto my hand and would not be persuaded to climb onto a more pleasing perch, so I had to struggle to capture him sitting on one hand and flexing his wings whilst I attempted to point the camera and snap with the other hand!
Lygaeus equestris, or harlequin bug, is brightly coloured, and varies from 7 - 10mm in length. Adults and nymphs pierce stalks, leaves, and veins with their needle-like mouthparts and extract plant juices. Young plants are likely to wilt, turn brown, and eventually die; while older plants are only stunted. Harlequin bugs over-winter as adults throughout most of their range. Adults emerge early in spring. Approximately 2 weeks after resuming activity, females begin depositing eggs on the undersides of leaves. Eggs are laid in double-row clusters of 10 to 13 until each female has deposited approximately 155 eggs. In early spring, eggs hatch in about 20 days. Eggs hatch in 4 to 5 days as the weather becomes warm.