Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Minute Pirate Bugs (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae)

  • David R. Horton
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_4633

Insects in the family Anthocoridae are referred to as minute pirate bugs or flower bugs. Pirate bugs occur worldwide and occupy a variety of natural and disturbed habitats. All but a few species are predaceous, feeding on small soft-bodied arthropods from a variety of taxonomic groups. Pirate bugs contribute to biological control of pest arthropods in a wide variety of habitats, including orchards, row crops, forests, ornamental plants, greenhouses, and granaries.

Classification and Distribution of the Anthocoridae

The family Anthocoridae includes between 500–600 species in 80–100 genera worldwide. The systematic position of the Anthocoridae and close relatives remains somewhat unsettled, and there is a distinct need for additional taxonomic and phylogenetic work. Diversity of Anthocoridae tends to be highest in the tropics and the Holarctic Region. Thorough faunistic studies for some geographic regions are lacking, and estimates of diversity will require revision as these studies are...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Horton
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA, Agricultural Research ServiceYakimaUSA