- This page contains pictures and information about Lygaeid Bugs in Family Lygaeidae
that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
- Milkweed Bug nymphs
- Bugs in family Lygaeidae are elongate to elongate-ovoid insects. The body is either dark gray-brown or brightly coloured, contrastingly marked with orange to red and black
(Lygaeinae). The antennae and labium are 4-segmented. The pronotum has a transverse impression across the calli. The scutellum bears a raised Y-shaped marking. The abdominal spiracles are dorsal in position. Larval dorsal abdominal glands are present between terga IV/V and V/VI.
- This family can be distinguished from the Miridae
and Coreidae by their forewings which have 4-5 veins
and mostly ocelli absent. The front section of their forewings is
slightly harden and the back section membranous. Their hind wings are always
membranous. They are
usually brown to red in colour. Adults are from 4 to 20mm long, with oval shape and flattened
body. Their antennae are four segmented.
- Lygaeid bugs in other subfamilies are usually small and cryptically colored ground
dwellers. Milkweed Bugs in subfamily LYGAEINAE are of medium to large size, boldly patterned in red or orange and black, and are found on or in conspicuously placed plant seed
- Feeding on seeds
- Most species feed on plant seeds. They
are specialise on seed feeding, using
their sharp proboscis to pierce
the hard seed coat and suck the nutritious sap from the inner tissues.
- Some species live among the leaf
where they suck seeds within the inflorescence.
Others feed on the toxic sap of
plants such as Parsonsia and
have bright colours to advertise their own toxicity while some species
live among leaves litter where they
hunt for fallen seeds. Some are predaceous. They sometimes present
in great numbers.
- We found quite a number of different species in this family. They are
listed as subfamilies as below.
- Bugs in this subfamily are small in size and brown in colours.
- Milkweed Bugs in subfamily LYGAEINAE are of medium to large size, boldly
patterned in red or orange and black, and are found on or in conspicuously
placed plant seed pods. Those bugs feed on many different species host
plants and seeds of the plant family Asclepidaceae, Apocyanaceae, and
Solanaciae. This feeding habit earned the subfamily LYGAEINAE the common
name of milkweed bugs.
- 1. Insects
of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University
Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 499.
- 2. LYGAEIDAE
Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts,
- 3. Terrestrial
Invertebrate Status Review (Brisbane City) - Dr John Stanisic,
Queensland Museum, 2005, page 61.
- 4. Northern
Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
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