Unidentified bug living in rotten wood
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
September 19, 2011 8:03 am
Dear sir/madam,
I’m renovating my house here in Sweden and found this insect living all over the garden in rotten timber. It is red and black and the adult has two distinct black spots. It’s clearly no ladybug! So what is it? Even the local exterminator didn’t have a clue.
Kind regards,
Signature: Matt


Hi Matt,
These are Firebugs,
Pyrrhocoris apterus, and they are a benign species.  We were not previously aware that they ranged as far north as Sweden.  Firebugs can form large aggregations containing both adults and nymphs.  For additional information, you can see this Guernsey website or the British Bugs website which indicates:  “This common European bug is on the northernmost edge of its range in Britain and is the sole member of its family to occur here.”  Global Twitter indicates this is not the first sighting from Sweden.   

Thanks for the answer, so it’s rare then? Cool. I’m just glad it’s not after my foundations and only eating the lime seeds (we have a huge 100 year old lime in the garden). Should I let the local university know about it? Do you know which one in Stockholm would be most receptive to this?
Perhaps I could get a grant to save my lime tree from demolishing my foundations through it’s root system (and therefore pay for my house to be under pinned hehe, )… Joking, of course…
Thanks again,

Hi Matt,
They are not rare.  In our previous response, we indicated that they are a “common European bug” but we do not know how frequently they are encountered in Sweden.  If you desire more local information, we would suggest contacting the nearest university with an entomology department.

Location: Sweden

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