Hemiptera (Beneficial Predators):
Ambush Bug: Family
Size is 1/4" - 1/2" (6 - 12 mm) long. They have thick front legs that are
strong for holding prey. Their color and pattern matches the flowers they wait on for
their prey so they are hard to spot. They feed mostly on wasps and flies. They paralyze
their victims with poisonous saliva.
Assassin Bug: Family
Are usually black or brown but many are brightly colored. They are about 1/2" -
1" (12 - 25 mm) long. The head is long with a short, curved beak. Nymphs
resemble adults but are smaller. All are predaceous and attack a wide variety of insects.
They bite. Wheel bugs are a type of assassin bug which has a semicircular crest on the
thorax. They are 1-1/8" to 1-3/8" (28 - 35 mm) long and their nymphs are blood
red with black markings.
Big-eyed bug: Family
The adults have large kidney-shaped, red-brown eyes. The big-eyed bug (Geocoris
spp.) adults are about 3/16" (1 mm) in length and are grey to brown in color.
Nymphs are grey with the same shape as adults but are lighter with irregular patterns of
spots on their back. Several generations occur each summer and they overwinter as adults.
They feed on aphids, eggs, small nymphs and young larvae of several pests.
Damsel Bug: Family
Adults are slender, grey or tan insect predators. Size is about 3/8" (10 mm) long.
They lay their eggs in plant tissue and the nymphs hatch and feed with the adults on
aphids and lygus bugs and many others. They produce up to 4 generations each year. The
adults overwinter in weeds, grain or alfalfa fields.
Minute Pirate Bug:
They are black with white markings. They are predaceous on small insects and eggs
including one attacks the larvae of the corn earworm.
Spined Soldier Bug (Podisus
spp.): Family Pentatomidae
Size is 3/8" - 1/2" (10 -12 mm) in length. Shield shaped, pale brown to
yellowish tan and peppered with minute black spots. Common in gardens and fields and in
wild. Female lays up to 40 clusters of metallic bronze eggs which contain 20 - 30 eggs.
Nymphs initially stay together and may feed on leaf juice but after first molt they become
predators of caterpillars, sawfly larvae, grubs of leaf beetles and other insects.
Two Spotted Stink Bug:
The two-spotted stink bug (Perillus bioculatus) is typically black with red
markings on the back. Sometimes a yellow or black form is found. Size of adult is
3/8" (10 mm). They feed on caterpillar and beetle larvae and are important predators
of Colorado potato beetle larvae. One bug may destroy up to 200 Colorado potato beetle
larvae in their lifetime.
Last edited: 11/22/98 10:57 PM