minute pirate bug

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minute pirate bug

any of at least 400 species of small insects in the true bug order, Heteroptera, that are black with white markings and are usually found on flowers, under loose bark, or in leaf litter. Flower bugs range in size from 2 to 5 mm (0.08 to 0.2 inch) in length. Their eggs are deposited in plant tissue, and the adults pass the winter in piles of plant debris. Flower bugs differ from most heteropterans because they have a well-defined embolium (a section of the wing). The insidious flower bug, Orius insidiosus, is a common North American species that preys on the grape phylloxera and the chinch bug. In general, most of the species feed on aphids and aphid eggs. However, several species, such as the larger pirate bug (Lycotcoris campestris), suck human blood.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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