Ground bugs

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Ground bugs
Knight bug (Lygaeus equestris)

Knight bug ( Lygaeus equestris )

Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Schnabelkerfe (Hemiptera)
Subordination : Bed bugs (heteroptera)
Partial order : Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily : Lygaeoidea
Family : Ground bugs
Scientific name
Schilling , 1829
Milkweed bug ( Tropidothorax leucopterus )

Ground bugs or long bugs (Lygaeidae) are a family of bugs (Heteroptera). Up until the revision of the Pentatomomorpha, with a focus on the Lygaeoidea by Henry in 1997, it included almost 4,000 species in 16 subfamilies. Many of these were raised to family rank or reclassified, so that from today's point of view the ground bugs consist of three subfamilies comprising more than 100 genera and almost 1000 species. In Europe 59 species are represented according to this definition, 23 of which occur in Central Europe.


The small to large bugs have an elongated to elongated egg-shaped body, which is usually structured in a punctiform manner. The animals are dark gray-brown ( Ischnorhynchinae and Orsillinae ) or brightly colored and patterned orange to red and black (many Lygaeinae ). The head is directed forward. Both the antennae and the labium are four-part. The pronotum bears an indented cross along the calli. The label ( scutellum ) has a raised, Y-shaped drawing. The spiracles on the abdomen are dorsal . In the nymphs , the dorsal scent gland openings are located on the abdomen between the fourth to sixth tergum .

distribution and habitat

Ground bugs are common worldwide. The Lygaeinae as the largest group has its main distribution area in the tropics and subtropics, although there are a few genera that are common there in both the Old and the New World. The Ischnorhynchinae have their main distribution center also in the tropics, but also in the southern parts of the temperate latitudes. The Orsillinae have their main distribution center notably on the islands of Hawaii , where more than half of the species are distributed. The animals are also found on many other islands in the ocean.

Way of life

The majority of the ground bug species feed on phytophagous seeds and live on plants. Often they specialize in certain types of hosts . Some species of the Orsillinae and Lygaeinae are ground-dwelling. In addition, a few species are known from these two subfamilies that occur as pests in agriculture. For example, Nysius vinitor in Australia is harmful to many different agricultural crops, such as citrus fruits, carrots, flax, sunflowers, tomatoes, tobacco, parsnips, cherries, peaches, potatoes and corn.

Taxonomy and systematics

The ground bugs were first described as a family by Peter Samuel Schilling in 1829, although authors before him assumed the common taxon . The taxonomic classification of the family was fundamentally redesigned several times during the 20th century. It became increasingly clear that the long established view of the family as a large group with many subfamilies because of paraphyly , the z. B. was already noted by Schuh & Slater (1995), could not be held upright. The restructuring took place through the revision of the Pentatomomorpha with a focus on the Lygaeoidea by Henry 1997. He raised five subfamilies of the former Lygaeidae to family status ( Artheneidae , Cryptorhamphidae , Ninidae , Oxycarenidae and Pachygronthidae ), restored the family status of five other subfamilies ( Blissidae , Cymidae , Geocoridae , Heterogastridae and Rhyparochromidae ) and established another subfamily as a family ( Henicocoridae ) together with the family Idiostolidae in the newly established superfamily Idiostoloidea . He also put the Bledionotinae and Henestarinae in the unchanged rank as a subfamily to the Geocoridae, and the Psamminae to the reporting bugs (Piesmatidae).

According to this view, the family of the ground bugs (Lygaeidae) is divided into the following three subfamilies:

Species in Europe

The following species are common in Europe:

Orsillinae Stål subfamily , 1872

Subfamily Lygaeinae Schilling , 1829

Ischnorhynchinae Stål subfamily , 1872

More types

Other non-European species:

supporting documents

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d TJ Henry: Phylogenetic analysis of family groups within the infraorder Pentatomomorpha (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), with emphasis on the Lygaeoidea. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 90 (3): 275-301, 1997.
  2. a b Family Lygaeidae. Australian Biological Resources Study. Australian Faunal Directory, accessed January 4, 2014 .
  3. a b Lygaeidae. Fauna Europaea, accessed January 4, 2014 .
  4. ^ Ekkehard Wachmann , Albert Melber, Jürgen Deckert: Bugs. Volume 3: Pentatomomorpha I: Aradoidea (bark bugs), Lygaeoidea (ground bugs, etc.), Pyrrhocoroidea (fire bugs) and Coreoidea (edge ​​bugs, etc.). (=  The animal world of Germany and the adjacent parts of the sea according to their characteristics and their way of life . 78th part). Goecke & Evers, Keltern 2007, ISBN 978-3-937783-29-1 , p.  33 ff .
  5. a b RT Schuh, JA Slater: True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Classification and Natural History. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1995, pp. 251ff.


  • RT Schuh, JA Slater: True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Classification and Natural History. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1995.

Web links

Commons : Ground Bugs (Lygaeidae)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files