Familia Alydidae Amyot & Serville, 1843

Family ALYDIDAE Amyot & Serville, 1843

W.R. Dolling

A worldwide group of about 50 genera and 200 species, Alydidae are fairly evenly distributed among the major Regions. Recent investigations of the phylogeny of the family have assumed monophyly rather than proved it. The three subfamilies (or two, if Leptocorisinae and Micrelytrinae are ranked as tribes of an enlarged Micrelytrinae) share a similar, elongate body form but are otherwise rather dissimilar in structure and habits. The major hostplant associations are with Poaceae (Leptocorisinae) and Fabaceae (Alydinae). The immature stages of Alydinae and a few Micrelytrinae (including some adults of this subfamily) resemble ants to a greater or less degree and a few adults bear some resemblance to wasps. Alary polymorphism is uncommon. Most Alydinae have enlarged metathoracic femora and kick vigorously if handled but Euthetus species have all femora slender and employ autotomy of the legs, at the base of the trochanters, as a means of defence.

Palaearctic catalogue: Dolling, 2006c. Classification: X.Z. Li & L.Y. Zheng, 1993; Schaefer, 1999.