Family ANTHOCORIDAE Fieber, 1836 - flower bugs, minute pirate bugs
The family includes about 100 genera and 600 species. Distributed worldwide from about 70°N up to 56°S. Adults bear ocellae, and males have one, or two dissymmetric claspers. Almost all members (larval instars and imagos) are predators of Arthropods. They prey on trees, bushes, herbaceous vegetation as well as in the litter and among stored grains. Phytophagy, myrmecophily or other special biology are exceptionally known. For species preying on living plants frequently a strong link exists between the predator and a given genus, even species, of vegetal, not clearly explained by the nature of the prey(s). Hibernation under temperate and cold climates occurs generally as adults, exceptionally as eggs. Several subfamilies and tribes practice traumatic insemination. There are 5, exceptionally 4 larval instars. Eggs are either inserted in plant tissues or laid on diverse substrates. Several species are successfully used for control of agricultural pests, for instance, in the Palaearctic Region Elatophilus against Matsucoccus.
World catalogue (outdated): Lethierry & Severin, 1896. Palearctic catalogue: Péricart, 1996f. Classification: Carayon, 1972a. Monographs: World - Reuter, 1884c (outdated); W Palaearctic - Péricart, 1972. Faunistic works: Europe - Stichel, 1958-1959; British Isles - Southwood & Leston, 1959; Spain - Gomez-Menor Guerrero, 1956; Middle Asia - Elov, 1976; Israel - Péricart & Halperin, 1989; Turkey - Önder, 1982; China - Zheng & Bu, 1990.