Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Anthocoridae - Minute Pirate Bugs

colorful little bug - Elatophilus inimicus Minute Pirate Bug - Amphiareus obscuriceps Tiny Bug Head Which Minute Pirate Bug nymph Bug - Amphiareus obscuriceps Anthocoris antevolens Cimicoidea ? - Orius insidiosus
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 Cimicomorpha
Superfamily Cimicoidea
Family Anthocoridae (Minute Pirate Bugs)
Other Common Names
Flower Bugs(1)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly treated to include Lasiochilidae and Lyctocoridae (e.g., in(2))
Explanation of Names
Anthocoridae Fieber 1837
~90 spp. in 22-23 genera in our area(2), >500 spp. in >70 genera total
Overview of our fauna
* –taxa not yet in the guide (linked to off-BG images) | classification adapted from(3) by Steven Paiero
Family Anthocoridae (subfamilies not currently used)
Key to genera in(4); keys to spp. of Canada & AK in(5)
worldwide; most diverse in the tropics and the Holarctic Region(1)
many are common on flowers and trees, some live under bark or in mammal/bird nests(2)
small arthropods
Some species are used as biocontrol agents. Some may be a nuisance: they are known for their irritating bites, mostly after landing on one's naked arm or neck.
Print References
Horton D.R. (2008) Minute Pirate Bugs (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae). Encyclopedia of Entomology. Springer Science. (Full text)
Works Cited
1.Australian Faunal Directory
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
3.True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera:Heteroptera): Classification and Natural History
Randall T. Schuh & James Alexander Slater. 1995. 1995. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.
4.Keys to genera of Anthocoridae of America north of Mexico, with descriptions of a new genus (Hemiptera: Heteroptera)
J.L. Herring. 1976. The Florida Entomologist, 59 (2): 143-150.
5.The Insects and Arachnids of Canada Part 4: The Anthocoridae of Canada and Alaska
Leonard A. Kelton. 1978. Supply and Services Canada.