Lygaeidae

Adults range in size from 2 to 18 mm, and are characterized by the veins on the wing. They have four-segmented antennae, and have four or five distinctveins on the membranous portion of the wing. Many species are marked with spots or bands of red, white, or black. These bugs feed primarily on seeds and plant sap, but a small number are predaceous. Various species oflygaeids are known to bite humans.

Birch catkin bug, Kleidocerys resedae geminatus Adults are 5-11 mm long and brownish red; nymphs are dark red and black. This species feeds on the catkins ofyellowand gray birch, and seed capsules of azaleas, rhododendron, and Japanese andromeda (Piers japonica). Adults and nymphs may occur in large numbers, and they can be carried indoors. These bugs have a strong odor when handled or crushed. This species occurs in eastern USA.

Milkweed bug, Lygaeus equestris Adults are 10-13 mm long, and distinctly marked black, white, and red, and with a pale white spot on the wing membrane. This species is a common pest in Europe and Asia (Japan) where, in the fall, large numbers of adults fly to buildings seeking an overwintering site. The adults do not bite, but are a pest by their numbers and disagreeable odor.

Common milkweed bug, Lygaeus reclivatus (Fig. 8.3c) Adults are 9-11 mm long; the head, thorax, appendages, and spots on the abdomen are grayish black; the abdomen and marks on the dorsum are red. Wing membranes are black with white markings. Nymphs are red and black. This insect feeds on various species of milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.). Hibernating adults are often observed in large numbers, and sometimes around buildings.

False chinch bug, Nysius ericae Adults are 3-4 mm long, light to dark gray; nymphs are pale gray with a reddish-brown abdomen. This species occurs on grasses, and it is widely distributed in North America. Large populations occur in the fall. Overwintering may be as nymphs or adults, but the adults have the best survival rate. In the fall, large numbers of adults and nymphs seek additional food when the host grasses decline,

Figure 8.3 Hemiptera: Lygaeidae, Reduviidae; Homoptera: Cica-didae. (a) Rasahus thoracicus (Reduviidae); (b) Triatoma protracta (Reduviidae); (c) Lygaeus recliuatus (Lygaeidae); (d) Stephanitis pyriodes (Tingidae); (e) Arilus cristatus (Reduviidae); (f) Tibicen sp. (Cicadidae).

and they move to overwintering sites. They may gather on ornamental plants and around buildings. Some reports of N. ericae as a pest around buildings may actually be N. niger, since these two are closely related.

Grass bug, Nysius raphanus Adults are 3-5 mm long, black, and with pale white wings. Nymphs and adults feed primarily on grasses in pastures. In urban areas they occur in vacant lots and weedy areas. Large numbers are known to move to the perimeter of structures and enter when their preferred habitat is removed or disturbed. They fly to lights at night.

Spotted milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus Adults are 10-15 mm long and often brightly colored red or orange, and black, with three large black areas on the dorsum, and with pale white spots on the wing membrane. Nymphs are usually red with black appendages. These bugs feed on the seeds of milkweed (Asclepias spp.) and other plants. Large populations may develop in undisturbed areas. Adults overwinter in protected sites and often fly in large numbers to the perimeter of buildings. The distribution ranges from Brazil to Canada, and it is reported in western USA.

Other Lygaeidae Lygaeid bugs found indoors include Isch-nodemus Jalicus, which occurs around houses in southern USA (North Carolina), and the chinch bug, Blissus leucopterus. Although the chinch bug occurs in agricultural areas, large numbers sometimes enterneighboringhouses. Neacoryphus lat-eralis,alargeredand black lygaeid, is known to infestbuildings. Eremocorisborealis adults and nymphs have been reported in large numbers around and in houses. A related species, E.Jerus, has also been recorded indoors. Species of the genus Leptodemus in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean may occur in swarms and bite humans. In desert areas of Egypt, Leptodemus bicolor ventralis bites, causing irritation and fever. In Kuwait and Sudan, Nysius spp. and Pamera spp. land on exposed skin and bite humans; in Japan N. plebius occurs indoors. In Brazil, Clerada spp. bite people indoors.

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