Familia Pyrrhocoridae Amyot & Serville, 1843

Family PYRRHOCORIDAE Amyot & Serville, 1843

I.M. Kerzhner

The family includes about 30 genera and 300 species. It is distributed worldwide, but the tropical fauna is much richer than the temperate one. Nearly all species are plant feeders, with preference of Malvaceae and the related Tiliaceae (Ahmad & Schaefer, 1987). Many species are ground-living, the other live on plants. Pyrrhocorids feed mostly on generative parts of the plants, including the fallen mature seeds. Animal food (dead insects, eggs and larvae of insects, etc.) may be used as additional one. Species of Antilochus and Dindymus are preferentially predators. Many Pyrrhocorids form aggregations. In temperate areas, adults hibernate. Species of the genus Dysdercus known as "cotton stainers" are serious pests of cotton in tropical countries (Pearson, 1958). Some species, especially Pyrrhocoris apterus (see Socha, 1993) and Dysdercus koenigii, are often reared in laboratories for physiological, biochemical, and other experiments.

World catalogue: Hussey & Sherman, 1929 (outdated). Palaearctic catalogue: Kerzhner, 2001g. Monographic treatments: S.L. Liu, 1981d (China); Moulet, 1995 (Mediterranean); V.G. Putshkov, 1974a (Ukraine). Faunal lists and reviews: Awad & Önder, 1997 (Turkey); Miyamoto & Yasunaga, 1989a (Japan); Safavi, 1987 (Iran).