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Miridae - Closterocoris amoenus

Miridae - Closterocoris amoenus
Residence near Rosebowl, Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, USA
May 16, 2010
Size: ~6mm
So far I've found only a couple of these, in a mallow in my garden (Sphaeralcea sulphurea). Immature certainly looks like an ant mimic, more so off camera.
Based on mesonotal wing pads overlapping the metanotal pad, this should be a fifth-instar nymph.
I don't know what the adults look like, though I might have some candidates. For now, I'm trying to raise what I can find into adult stage for better ID.
Any preliminary suggestions based on knowledge of nymphal stages? Antennal segment two is rather long, and this nymph has a rather distinct looking dorsal spine probably retained as an adult.

Images of this individual: tag all
Miridae - Closterocoris amoenus Miridae - Closterocoris amoenus Miridae - Closterocoris amoenus Miridae - Closterocoris amoenus Closterocoris amoenus

It must be Closterocoris amoenus, I believe...
But, raising these guys is a very good idea for checking the ID.

Moved from Plant Bugs.

Thanks, WonGun -
I think this might be it since I've seen a couple of adults on the same plant that fit this species. I'll keep the nymphs well fed...
P.S. May 21, 2010: must have molted into an adult overnight, see the photo just submitted.

Plant preferences for the mirid Closterocoris amoenus?
Hi Hartmut :-) Interesting that you found this mirid on Sphaeralcea. When I first saw this species it was on bush monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus):


Joyce had shown me the above individual in the field...and mentioned that she associated these mirids with Mimulus aurantiacus, on which she'd seen them previously (e.g. see her comment here and CalPhotos posts here). A number of BG posts reinforce her observation:

              (see also this Flickr post)

Not too long afterwards, I saw Closterocoris amoenus again (this time with Harsi at RSABG :-)...but on Salvia:


Other BG posts show it on Salvia clevelandii, Lepechinia, a(nother) mallow, Urtica...and a number of other (unidentified) plant species:


The above BG posts suggest Closterocoris amoenus may not be especially picky regarding the plants it associates with...beyond possibly an partial affinity for Mimulus aurantiacus or various members of the mint and mallow families?

But I'm curious whether any info on particular host preferences might be buried in the literature, or known as "folklore" among mirid workers? I checked all the references cited by Joyce here...none had any plant host info for Closterocoris, though the there were 4 pages here with nearly 200 Great Basin plant species (including "Diplicus longiflorus = Mimulus aurantiacus!) and hundreds of associated mirids.

Neat that you follow this up, Aaron -
Looking at my records, they were seen in my garden on Sphaeralcea sulphurea (native to Guadalupe Island, Mexico), and on Salvia 'Allen Chickering'. I have no other records.

Interesting line of inquiry, Aaron!
I went back through my photo archives to see if I could find any more data for you. Unfortunately, I only had a few more records in addition to that one we found together on Salvia. Here's what else I have:

Adult on Cucurbita palmata at Nix Nature Center in Orange County on May 29, 2010.
Adult on a thistle species (Cirsium maybe?) from my old place in Webb Canyon in Los Angeles County on May 22, 2011.

Thanks, WonGun -
I think this might be it since I've seen a couple on the same plant. I'll keep the nymphs well fed...

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