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Aphid predator (Hemiptera : Miridae)

Dicyphus pallidus

On this page: Identification & Distribution  Biology & Ecology 

Identification & Distribution

Adults of Dicyphus pallidus may be brachypterous or macropterous. The head is pale with dark markings. The first antennal segment is reddish at the apex, rather than being strongly red throughout. The second antennal segment is at most slightly darkened at both ends, but not blackish. There are black bristles along the underside of the hind femur.

Note:
We initially mis-identified the specimens shown below as possible Dicyphus pallicornis, being unaware of the existence of Dicyphus pallidus in Britain.

As of mid December 2018, British Bugs  had no page on Dicyphus pallidus, albeit Nau (2010)  reports its occurrence there, and Dicyphus pallidus is included in their British Heteroptera checklist (2017).  Also NBN had no record of it  and, for reasons unexplained, gave its "accepted name" as Dicyphus epilobii.

Dicyphus pallidus is mainly found on hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica). However, Munch (2013)  notes that it is also often found associated with Macrolophus rubi on blackberry (Rubus), and the pictured mirid was found on bramble (Rubus fruticosus).

 

Biology & Ecology

Dicyphus pallidus overwinters in the egg stage, as do most species of mirids. This species is assumed to be at least partly predatory. It was not known from England prior to 2009, but is now considered to be widely distributed, at least in southern England. It is found over most of Europe into Asia.

Acknowledgements

We are extremely grateful to Arp Kruithof for correctly identifying this mirid for us. We subsequently obtained species accounts and taxonomic details of Dicyphus pallidus from Munch (2013)  and Danmarks Blomstertaeger. 

For aphids we have made provisional identifications from high resolution photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity. In the great majority of cases, identifications have been confirmed by microscopic examination of preserved specimens. We have used the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994)  and Blackman & Eastop (2006)  supplemented with Blackman (1974) , Stroyan (1977) , Stroyan (1984) , Blackman & Eastop (1984) , Heie (1980-1995) , Dixon & Thieme (2007)  and Blackman (2010) . We fully acknowledge these authors as the source for the (summarized) taxonomic information we have presented. Any errors in identification or information are ours alone, and we would be very grateful for any corrections. For assistance on the terms used for aphid morphology we suggest the figure  provided by Blackman & Eastop (2006).

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