Big-eyed bugs Facts

Big-eyed bugs Facts
Big-eyed bugs are group of true bugs that belong to the family Geocoridae. They can be found all over the world. Big-eyed bugs inhabit agricultural fields, lawns and areas covered both with weedy and ornamental plants. They are fierce predators that occasionally consume plant material, but they rarely produce significant damage on the economically important plants. Big-eyed bugs are used as biological weapon against pest insects. Despite frequent exposure to various insecticides in the fields and gardens, global population of big-eyed bugs is large and stable. Big-eyed bugs are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Big-eyed bugs Facts:
Big-eyed bugs are miniature insects that can reach up to 0.2 inches in length.
Big-eyed bugs have silver-gray body. Nymphs (immature big-eyed bugs) are darker colored and covered with spots.
Big-eyed bugs have broad head with large, backward oriented eyes and oval-shaped body. They have short antennas with slightly enlarged tips on top of the head.
Big-eyed bugs look like a blend of wasp, beetle and fly. They can be easily confused with pest insects such as chinch and pamera bugs.
Big-eyed bugs have three pairs of legs. They sway from side to side when they walk.
Big-eyed bugs are mostly active in the morning and the evening (when humidity of the air is high).
Big-eyed bugs are omnivores (their diet is based on plants and animals). They primarily eat insects such as mites, aphids, bollworm and whiteflies (both nymphs and adults) and their eggs. Nectar, honeydew and seed of various plants are on the menu when regular sources of food (insects) are not available.
Big-eyed bugs use needle-like beak to extract juices from the plant's tissue. Beak is tucked under the body, when it is not in use.
Big-eyed bugs are beneficial insects that can eliminate large number of harmful insects from the greenhouses and fields of cotton, peanuts and soybean. On average, each nymph eliminates 1.600 spider mites from the field before it completes metamorphosis. Adult big-eyed bugs eat around 80 spider mites per day.
Big-eyed bugs release unpleasant odor to repel predators.
Both eggs and adult big-eyed bugs can overwinter hidden under plant debris.
Female can lay around 300 eggs in a lifetime and produce several generations of insects under the optimal environmental conditions (when food is abundant).
Female lays white eggs covered with red spots. Eggs are laid individually or in small clusters on the leaves and stems of various plants. They hatch after one week.
Nymph looks like miniature version of adult big-eyed bug without wings. It transforms into adult insect after 5 instars (developmental stages) which usually last 4 to 6 days each. Entire process lasts 30 to 60 days, depending on the temperature.
Big-eyed bugs (adults) have short lifespan. They can survive only one month.

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