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Aphid predator (Hemiptera : Miridae)

Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus

Four-spotted oak bug

On this page: Identification & Distribution Biology & Ecology

Identification & Distribution

Adult Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus are always macropterous. The hemelytra are black with yellow markings. The posterior of the pronotum is strongly raised and the pronotum and forewings are covered with long fine erect hairs. The length of adult Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus is 6-7 mm.

Adults can be found in May and June, especially on oak.

 

Biology & Ecology

Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus feeds on oak, aphids, Diptera, insect eggs and other Heteroptera (Psallus and Orthotylus) (Encyclopedia of Life).

Exnerova et al. (2003) looks at predation of the (partially) predatory bugs by birds. There is considerable evidence of strong predation pressures. Bugs produce repellent compounds and many like Dryophilocoris have a strongly aposematic yellow and black pattern. This is sometimes used to suggest that birds do not eat them, but Exnerova found some aposematic species such as Dryophilicoris flavoquadrimaculatus had been eaten.

Acknowledgements

We especially thank Middle Farm, East Sussex for their kind assistance, and permission to sample.

For the mirid bugs we have used Southwood & Leston (1959) and British Bugs to aid in identification and for the key characteristics.

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).

Useful weblinks

References

  •  Encyclopedia of Life. Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus.  Full text

  •  Exnerova, A. et al. (2003). Birds as predators of true bugs (Heteroptera) in different habitats. Biologia, Bratislava 58 (2), 253-264. Full text