True Bugs


A true bug in the Broad-headed Bugs Family (Alydidae)

member of subfamily Micrelytrinae which apparently dines mainly on grasses


Download key:

Superfamily Coreoidea – Leatherbugs

Shown on Florida Native Plant BLUESTEM GRASS (Andropogon sp.)

Rice Bug (Stenocoris sp.)



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Helmeted Squash Bug (Euthochtha galeator) nymph

One of the leaf-footed bugs. Said to cause damage to citrus, but I’ve yet to find any on my citris, they seem to stick with other plants such as Bidens alba and grasses which don’t reflect any damage.

biocontrol: Eggs may be paratizes by chalicid wasps and adults are attacked by a tachinid fly (Trichopoda pennipes), so don’t use pesticides which would kill the beneficials who control these guys.


Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

It is usually hard to identify nymphs of many true bugs to species, but this one is easy.

“This is the only coreid nymph in eastern U.S. having the 3rd antennal segment (only) dilated.”

Helmeted Squash Bug (Euthochtha galeator)



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Scentless Plant Bug (Niesthrea louisianica)

New to my buggy life list.

“an important biocontrol agent of velvet leaf” [Abutilon theophrasti]

Learn: (includes key)

Family: Rhopalidae

The Rhopalidae Family eats seeds of herbaceous plants, but some are arborea (source:

“native from Arizona to Florida north to New York and West to Iowa in the Mississippi Valley” source:

Shown on Florida Native Plant: CUBAN JUTE; INDIAN HEMP (Sida rhombifolia)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Jagged Ambush Bug (Phymata fasciata)

Predatory on other insects. They lie in wait for insects to happen by and then grab them. Although they sometimes grab other beneficials, they arent fussy and will do in thrips and other insects that may achieve pest status if left unabated so considered quite beneficial.



Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

photo with prey:
photo of immature:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spined Assassin Bug (Sinea sp. possibly diadema) nymph

Predaceous on pest insects such as this Skeletonizing Leaf Beetle larva (Ophraella sp.) 



Shown on Florida Native Plant:  PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

My take: Killer in Our Midst: The Assassin Bug

Take 2: Hit Men in the Native Plant Garden

Sinea sp.


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Leaf-footed Bug (Phthia picta)

Phthia picta

May be a particularly damaging tomato pest because nymphs and
adults feed on both leaves and fruit. (source:

“Solanum nigrum preferred, other plants from the Nightshade family possible.” source: [syn. Solanum americanum AMERICAN BLACK NIGHTSHADE which is Florida Native Plant]


Parasitic wasps attack eggs and parasitic flies attack nymphs and adults.
• Generalist predators include fire ants (Solenopsis invicta), grasshoppers, big-eyed bugs (Geocoris spp.), damsel bugs (Nabis spp.) and spiders.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Broad-headed Bug (Hyalymenus sp. possibly longispinus)

Sort of new to my buggy life list.  I discovered one last year on the same plant but never got around to identifying it.  It is one of the leatherbugs which are plant feeders.

There are three species in this genus that are endemic to Florida. One that occurs in TX has the common name bow-legged bug which is apropo.

“it is not possible to reliably identify the species in this genus” (source: Key to Florida Alydidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) and selected exotic pest species. Available from: [accessed Jun 17 2018].


Shown on Florida Native Plant:  SOUTHERN BEEBLOSSOM (Oenothera simulans)