Predatory bugs



Bedbugs belong to a group comprising species with very diverse shapes and biology. These insects do not metamorphose (heterometabolous) and the larval stages, generally 5 in number, more or less resemble adults but are provided with winged outlines more or less developed depending on the stage. These larvae live in the same environments as adults and often have a similar diet. The eggs are laid in vegetation, in the ground or under the bark.

Bedbugs, sucking stinging insects, have a rostrum. The diets are variable, phytophagous or predatory of arthropods, but some species have mixed diets. Predatory bugs are generally generalist predators that attack various preys ( mites , psyllids, aphids, eggs, caterpillars , etc.). Some species are active predators, hunting hardy prey, but many species (some Lygaeidae for example) attack weakened or dying prey. The importance of their role in the vineyard is not very well known.

Predatory bugs are mainly found in the following families:

  • Anthocoridae (pirate bugs)

A family of small bugs measuring 1.5 to 5 mm long, with a flattened body often colored in black and white (figure), these insects bite their prey with their proboscis (mouthpiece). They are active predators that attack the adult and larval stages of various preys proportioned to their size ( mites , mealybugs , eggs and young larvae of Lepidoptera ), hunted in the vegetation.

  • Nabidae (damsel bugs)

A family of around 400 species, these insects have a soft body and are elongated (figure). Usually, they grab and hold their prey with their front legs. The interesting species belong to the genera Nabis and Himacerus (figures). Very polyphagous, these bugs, larger in size than Anthocoridae, allow them to catch larger prey.

  • Reduviidae (assassin and thread-legged bugs)

Bedbugs in this family are usually predators with a highly developed rostrum, with the help of which saliva is injected into the prey, the interior of which is liquefied and then sucked out. The major genus represented in our climates is Rhynocoris (figure).

  • Pentatomidae (stink bug, shield bug)

Zicrona caerulea (Linnaeus, 1758) is one of the rare species of this family known for its predatory activity in the vineyard (figure). This species attacks not too large larvae of beetles such as the flea beetle and lepidoptera .

  • Miridae (capsid bugs)

In this highly developed family also comprising many phytophagous species , the bugs Deraeocoris ribauti and D. ruber (Deraeocorinae) are active predators (Figures 5 and 6) reported in the vineyard. Malacocoris chlorizans (Orthotylinae) , frequently found on hazelnut and deciduous trees, feeds on mites, its wings spotted with green are characteristic (figure). Pilophorus (Phylinae) and Dicyphus (Bryocorinae) are mentioned on vines, the latter being rather subservient to the herbaceous layer.

  • Lygaeidae (Geocorinae, bigeyed bugs)

Geocoris erythrocephalus (Lepeletier & Serville, 1825) and related species, recognizable by their very large eyes, hunt small prey such as mites , thrips and eggs lepidopteran (figure).



Streito JC (2011) Identification key for helper hemiptera (heteroptera). In: The auxiliary fauna of the vineyards of France.

Classification : Animalia, Arthropoda, Insecta, Hemiptera
Synonyms :
English name : true bugs


Last change : 05/04/21
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