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Genus Blissus - Chinch Bugs

Chinch bug - Blissus leucopterus Chinch Bug - Blissus leucopterus - male - female Blissus leucopterus (Say) - Blissus leucopterus Blissidae - Blissus Mass of bug nymphs in lawn - Blissus leucopterus Bug - Blissus leucopterus Blissus arenarius Blissus leucopterus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily Lygaeoidea
Family Blissidae
Genus Blissus (Chinch Bugs)
Explanation of Names
Blissus Burmeister 1835
Numbers
15 spp. in our area, dozens worldwide(1)
Size
3-4 mm
Range
most of the New World; Old World forms treated as Blissus are not congeneric(1)
Habitat
fields, lawns, commercial crop plantations
Season
Mar-Oct in se. US
Food
nymphs and adults feed on forage, lawn, wild, and crop grasses
Life Cycle
overwinter as adults among weeds/grasses near fields; adults emerge in spring and lay eggs singly behind leaf sheath or in soil at base of small plants; eggs hatch in a few days; nymphs feed on all parts of host plant; 5 nymphal instars; 2-3 generations per year
Remarks
This feeding prevents normal growth and results in dwarfing, lodging, and yield reduction. Severe infestations during early development may cause plants to wilt and die prematurely.
Works Cited
1.The Lygaeidae of Florida (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae).
Slater & Baranowski. 1990. Florida Dept. of Ag. and Consumer Services, Gainesville. xv + 211 pp.