Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Big-eyed bug (370)

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  • Worldwide distribution. Reported from Australia and Fiji. Prey includes aphids, hoppers, mirids, mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, small caterpillars, and spider mites. Prey is stabbed, enzymes injects, contents sucked out.
  • Eggs laid singly, or in clusters on leaves or stems near prey.
  • Biocontrol: nymphs and adults predators, surviving on nectar and pollen (and seeds) when prey scarce.
  • Adults, 5-6 mm long, broad heads, bulging eyes, piercing-sucking mouth parts, forewings create triangular pattern when closed.
  • Management: studies in USA used crimson clover or vetch cover crops interplanted with cash crops - bugs migrate to cash crop as cover crop dies; plant sunflower to support bugs with seed when populations low; most importantly, do not use broad-spectrum insecticides, instead preserve Geocoris populations by: (i) microbial pesticides: spinosad or Bt; (ii) botanical pesticides: neem; or (iii) pheromones (if available).
Common Name

 Big-eyed bug

Scientific Name

Geocoris species. There are at least 140 species.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson & Mani Mua
1Information from Swaine G (1971) Agricultural Zoology in Fiji. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. London; and Mead FW (2017) Geocoris spp. Featured Creatures, Entomology & Nematology. UF/IFAS, University of Florida. (; and Geocoris spp. Biological control. Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. (; and from Hooks CR et al. Big-eyed bug: A MVP of generalist natural enemies. Department of Entomology, University of Maryland. ( Photo 2 Jack Dykinga, ARS image gallery, USDA. 

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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