Familia Microphysidae Dohrn, 1859

Family MICROPHYSIDAE Dohrn, 1859 - little pirate bugs, minute bugs

J. Péricart


Microphysidae is a mainly Palaearctic little family of very small-sized bugs (1.2-2.5 mm), with three genera and about 25 species presently known. Almost all its representatives are sexually dimorphic: males elongate and fully winged, bearing ocelli; females micropterous or brachypterous and physogastric, with ocelli absent or vestigial. Adult tarsi are two-segmented, and males have two symmetrical claspers. Insemination follows normal way. Microphysids are ferocious predators, sucking larvae and soft adults of essentially lichen- and moss-dwelling small arthropods like mites, psocids, psyllids, springtails. Larvae and adults are found on lichen-bearing tree-twigs, shrubs, and low vegetation. As known for studied species, hibernation occurs as eggs, larvae grow in spring, females are found during the whole warm season, and males appear shortly during a few weeks in spring or early summer, flying near females.

World catalogue: Lethierry & Severin, 1896 (outdated). Palaearctic catalogue: Péricart, 1996e; Aukema et al., 2013a (supplement). Monograph: West Palaearctic Region - Péricart, 1972.