Hemiptera That Eat Bromeliads | Pests of Bromeliads | Bromeliad Biota

True bugs (Hemiptera) that eat bromeliads


Family Lygaeidae (lygaeid bugs). Lygaeidae have been described from bromeliads and probably feed on seeds. They include Ozophora hohenbergia Slater & Baranowski from Hohenbergia penduliflora (A. Richard) Mez, H. polycephala (Baker) Mez, and H. urbaniana Mez from Jamaica (Slater & Baranowski 1978) whose immature stages too were detected. They include Acroleucus bromelicola Brailovsky from Tillandsia dasyliriifolia Baker, A. nexus Brailovsky & Barrera from Tillandsia oaxacana L. B. Smith and T. violacea, and A. tensus Brailovsky & Cervantes from Hechtia podantha Mez, all from Mexico (Brailovsky & Cervantes 2008). Lygofuscanellus alboannulatus (Champion) was initially collected on an unidentified bromeliad in Costa Rica.

Family Tingidae (lace bugs). Adults and nymphs of Megalocysta gibbifera (Picado) (Hemiptera: Tingidae) were noted to feed on Aechmea bromeliad leaves at Orosí in Costa Rica, and the nymphs were sometimes parasitized by larvae of small wasps possibly of Braconidae (Picado 1913). Their discoverer was perplexed that they should often be found stuck firmly in the gelatinous gum exuded by their host plants. This writer wonders whether the conditions for adhesion of the tingids were created by the method of their capture (dismembering bromeliads using considerable force and perhaps accidentally pressing the insects into the gum); his observations are that such gum is secreted only when bromeliads and members of some related families undergo gross physical damage (for example by breaking a bromeliad flower spike, or tearing the leaves from a stem); thus, under normal circumstances no gum would be exuded, so the tingids would not encounter it.

Brailovsky, H., Cervantes, L. 2008. Two new species and distribution records of the genus Acroleucus in Mexico (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Lygaeidae: Lygaeinae). Florida Entomologist 91: 49-93.

Picado, C. 1913. Les broméliacées épiphytes considerées comme milieu biologique. Bulletin des Sciences de la France et de la Belgique 47: 215-360.

Slater, J.A., Baranowski, R.M. 1978. A new species of bromeliad lygaeid from Jamaica. Florida Entomologist 61: 83-88.

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