Photo: Arne Ader
Who meets the minstrel bug can have no doubts about what they have to do with: length about one and a half centimetre, a bug with a flat and broad body; the striped Vatican guards uniform is worn by none other. This costume gaudily tells all that I taste horrifyingly nasty and it is not worth touching me. So they move about quite openly and insect enthusiasts can easily observe the doings of the bug. They prefer to be busy on the carrot (or parsley) family plants (Apiaceae), sucking sap from them; a particular favourite is the wild carrot. The minstrel bug is not a plant pest, rather it enriches our nature with its gay colours.
Until summer the foundations for the next generation are laid. From the eggs laid on leaves larva hatch in the course of a few weeks but their “uniform“ is not as gaily striped to start with. The bugs develop their full colours only at the end of summer. In autumn they go to winter as imagos.