Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Acanthiidae; excluding Anthocoridae.

Bed Bugs, Bloodsucking Bugs.

Salient features of adults. Terrestrial.

Blood-suckers. Tiny to small; 3–5 mm long; non-fliers; relatively stout bodied. Head non-linear. Rostrum clearly separated ventrally from the prosternum by a sclerotized gula. Antennae longer than the head, readily visible from above; 4 segmented; non-aristate. Ocelli absent. Fore-wings vestigial or absent (reduced to short, transverse scales). Tarsi 3 segmented. Pulvilli absent. The abdomen without ventral silvery pubescence.

Oval, very flattened, flightless ectoparasites feeding on the blood of mammals and birds; most body hairs serrate or apically bifid.

Taxonomy. Suborder Heteroptera; Cimicoidea.

British representation. 32 species in Britain; genera 14. Brachysteles, Cardiastethus, Cimex, Dufouriellus, Lyctocoris, Oeciacus, Orius, Xylocoridea, Xylocoris. E.g., Cimex lectularius (Bed-bug).

Comments. The native Bed Bug seems not to transmit diseases, loss of sleep from constant irritation being the main danger to health from their bites.

Illustrations. • Cimex lectularius (Bed-bug: B. Ent. 569). • Cimex lectularius (detail: B. Ent. 569). • Cimex lectularius (dissections: B. Ent. 569). • Cimex lectularius (legend+text: B. Ent. 569). • Cimex lectularius (text: B. Ent. 569, cont.). • Acompocoris, Anthocoris, Cardiastethus, Lyctocoris, Xylocoris (Southwood & Leston). • Orius majusculus and Orius minutus, with Anthocoridae: Saunders (1892).. • Cimex, Oeciacus hirundinis, Lyctocoris campestris and Xylocoris, with Saldidae and Dipsocoridae: Saunders (1892).. • Brachysteles parvicornis, Cardiastethus fasciiventris and Dufouriellus ater, with Microphysidae: Saunders, 1892..

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.