Notes on the feeding behavior of Teratocoris saundersi (Hemiptera: Miridae) in Iceland: phytophagy, zoophagy, and adventitious biting
Wheeler Alfred G., Skaftason Johannes F.
Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae 50(1): 45-52, 2010
Abstract: Host plants of the stenodemine mirid Teratocoris saundersi Douglas & Scott,
1869 in Iceland include the grasses Agrostis capillaris, Deschampsia cespitosa,
Elymus repens, and Leymus arenarius (Poaceae), and sedges, Carex spp.
(Cyperaceae). Specific host associations for T. saundersi in Iceland previously
were unknown. Larvae and adults fed mainly on leaves and stems of their
graminoid hosts; during cloudy weather, the bugs were observed in thatch beneath
host plants. An adult fed on nectar from a flower of arctic sea rocket, Cakile
arctica (Brassicaceae). Larvae and adults fed occasionally as predators or
scavengers on small Diptera and pierced human skin. Observations on zoophagy
further document the use of animal matter by species of Teratocoris Fieber,
1858, whereas adventitious biting by T. saundersi is reported for the first
time. The zoophagous tendencies of T. saundersi might contrast with the feeding
habits of stenodemines that are regarded as strict phytophages, for example,
most species of Stenodema Laporte, 1833 and Trigonotylus Fieber, 1858.
Key words: Heteroptera, Miridae, Stenodemini, Teratocoris, feeding habits, host plants, trophic plasticity, Iceland, Palaearctic Region