Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Assassin Bugs.

Salient features of adults. Terrestrial (but mainly riparian, littoral or intertidal); littoral, or not littoral.

Predacious (including on other bugs, such as Cimex). Small to large; 4.5–18 mm long; the males very noisy, emitting loud, continuous sounds, or not extremely noisy (by comparison with cicadas, but many vibrate the proboscis against a cross-striated furrow in the prosternum to produce shrill sounds); fliers, or non-fliers; conspicuous jumpers (some forms?), or not jumpers; relatively stout bodied, or with narrow-elongate bodies; conspicuously stilt-legged, or not stilt-legged. Head strongly transversely grooved (constricted) between the eyes. Rostrum clearly separated ventrally from the prosternum by a sclerotized gula; 3 segmented (short, stout). Antennae longer than the head, readily visible from above; 4 segmented; non-aristate. Ocelli present; behind the eyes. Scutellum relatively small. Metathorax without laterally visible scent gland openings (scent glands absent). Fore-wings well developed to vestigial or absent; in the resting insect lying more or less flat over the abdomen; when macropterous, differentiated into a basally thickened and a distally membranous region, or more or less uniform in texture (the membranous part sometimes lacking). Fore-legs modified and raptorial (Emesinae), or modified and raptorial to non-raptorial. Hind coxae mobile; rotatory. Claws all apical. Pulvilli absent. The abdomen without ventral silvery pubescence.

Prosternum with a stridulatory groove; antennae filiform, often apically slender, geniculate; the rostrum uniquely short and curved. Large species can inflict painful bites.

Taxonomy. Suborder Heteroptera; Reduvioidea.

British representation. 6 species in Britain; genera 4. Coranus, Empicoris, Pygolampis, Reduvius. E.g., Coranus subapterus (Sea-side Reduvius).

Comments. Reduviids presumably contribute to controlling populations of pest insects. Reduvius personatus used to be valued as a predator of the Bed-bug.

Illustrations. • Coranus subapterus (Sea-side Reduvius: B. Ent. 453). • Coranus subapterus (detail: B. Ent. 453). • Coranus subapterus (dissections: B. Ent. 453). • Coranus subapterus (legend+text: B. Ent. 453). • Coranus subapterus (text: B. Ent. 453, cont.). • Empicoris vagabundus and Pygolampis bidentata, with Gerridae and Veliidae: Saunders XIV (1892).. • Reduvius personatus and Coranus subapterus, with Nabidae: 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.’.