Predatory Bugs - low dispersion when happy - stay in field/yard. Higher dispersion when prey is scarce. ID-Bugs have piercing/sucking mouthparts like a small beak; most can give a mild bite if handled roughly.
1) Big-Eyed Bugs: Geocoris spp.; stout, small 1/8 inch long, has red
eyes. Can feed on some seeds if prey is absent. We find it most often in the
larger clovers (red, crimson, white). Attacks soft-bodied insects like aphids.
2) Nabid/Damsel Bug: Nabis spp. Adults are 1/4 inch long. Common in
fields; also associated with clovers. Elongated brown body with raptorial front
legs like a mantid. Good predator of small soft-bodied insects. It is also found
in the clovers.
3) Minute Pirate Orius spp. - Very small - 1/16 inch long, wings are
black with a clear spot (cuneus) on posterior wings, can also feed on pollen
in absence of prey, so plants like corn can be helpful to pirate bugs - ahoy,
matey! Aye cap'n - bring 'er about
If you are sweating in the field on
a hot day, they will bite you. These can be purchased once and you can have
them ever after. Very good egg predators against corn earworm, imported cabbageworm,
cabbage looper, etc. Common around pollen plants like corn.
4) Predatory Stink bugs/Shield Bugs/Anchor Bugs - mouthparts (proboscis)
are armored. Compare to a plant feeding stinkbug, whose proboscis is very narrow
and slender. The 2-spotted stinkbug, Perillus bioculatus, attacks Colorado potato
beetle larvae/adults. Very closely related bugs are shield bugs (Scutellidae)
- good predators as well. Some predatory stink bugs give off a pheromone that
tells other stinkbugs to stay around.
|Assassin bug feeding on a sawfly larva.||Wheel bug adult; these can bite, so watch out.||Waterstriders are in the Family Gerridae, but are also important predators.||Anchor bug nymph feeding on Cross striped cabbageworm.|
5) Assassin and Ambush Bugs - green/brown/black/striped, larger bugs
(1/2" long). Larger predators. Like soft bodied insect larvae. Ambush bugs
hide in flowers and pounce on whatever comes along. Ambush and assassin bugs
can inflict a painful bite, so be careful when handling - don't press 'em. If
you get a good shot from one of these, the bite can hurt for 6 months or more