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NC State Extension

Insidious Flower Bug

  • Common Name: Insidious Flower Bug
  • General Category: Beneficial Predator
  • Taxonomic Classification: Hemiptera: Anthocoridae
  • Scientific Name: Orius insidiosus

Description

These small (approximately 1/16th inch) effective predators are mainly known for their role in the control of pest thrips. They are also adapted for preying on insect eggs, mites, aphids, and other small prey if the opportunity arises. In all stages of life they are active searching predators, but will occasionally feed on plants. Once these bugs have found a meal they insert their needle sharp beak, inject digestive enzymes, then suck up the partially digested insides of their prey. Although small, they can deliver a significant “bite” with their beak if mishandled, but present no real danger.

Orius adult Orius nymph

Identification

Review the images for tips on how to identify these predators.

Adults

Very small (approximately 1/16th inch). The most easily noticed characteristics are the black oval shaped body with a white diamond like shape at the back of the wings, and a light ‘stripe’ across the middle. The small head has protruding eyes and a beak.

Nymphs

Smaller than adults, with tear-drop-shaped orange bodies that lack wings and red eyes.

Value in Pest Management

The insidious flower bug is a common natural control of thrips and other arthropod pests on a number of important crops including most deciduous fruits, corn, cotton, soybeans, alfalfa and grapes. They are widely available commercially (see BIRC online Directory).

Origin and Distribution

Native, throughout eastern North America.

Discover Life – Orius insidiosus

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