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Alydidae, commonly known as broad-headed bugs, is a of true bugs very similar to the closely related Coreidae (leaf-footed bugs and relatives). There are about 40 genera with 250 species altogether. Distributed in the temperate and warmer regions of the Earth, most are tropical and subtropical animals; for example Europe has a mere 10 species, and only 2 of these occur outside the Mediterranean region.
Broad Headed bugs
Alydids have large broad triangular head, nearly as wide as the thorax. They are usually brown in colour. Their bodies are relatively slender. They have long 4-segmented antenna and long legs. Some of them feed on fallen pods from Acacia trees and pods of other trees. Some species with their nymphs mimic ants.
These nymphs are excellent ant mimics; not only in appearance, but also in behavior. They rapidly gesticulate their antennae and move in zig-zag patterns in order to drive home the myrmicine illusion. Researchers believe that this mimicry is Batesian, meaning that the bugs gain protective advantage by resembling species of ants that insectivores avoid.
These bugs mainly inhabit fairly arid and sandy habitat, like seashores, heathland, steppe and savannas. Their main food is seeds, which they pierce with their proboscis to drink the nutritious fluids contained within. Some are economically significant pests, for example Leptocorisa oratorius on rice.
Life Cycle :Immature stages are gregarious, being found in high numbers on certain fruit where egg masses were laid.
Damage:Broad Headed bugs feed on a wide variety of developing fruit, including cotton, peaches, and tomatoes, and seeds such as beans, black-eyed peas, and sorghum. They also feed on the stems and tender leaves of plants such as potatoes. Damage produced is similar to that produced by stink bugs.
Broad Headed bugs
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