What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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The Lygaeidae here includes only the subfamilies Lygaeinae, Ischnorhynchinae and Orsillinae as proposed by Henry (1997) in his review of the Pentatomomorpha. The other subfamiles often included in texts prior to 1997 as belonging to the Lygaeidae have either been raised to family rank or reassigned to other families.

The Lygaeidae display a wide variety of physical forms and feeding habits. The subfamily Lygaeinae contains 63 species in 13 genera and are commonly strikingly coloured in black with red or orange as a warning to predators that they may be unpalatable. They are predominantly seed feeders and are usually found on the host plant although they may be common on the ground around the plant if the seeds are plentiful. Some Lygaeinae can pests of crops such as potato, cotton and sugarcane.

The Orsillinae are generally grey or greyish brown and small in size and can be pests of crops and ornamental plants.


The largest subfamily in Australia is the Lygaeinae which is represented by 63 species in 13 genera found throughout Australia. The remaining Australian species are contained in the small subfamilies Ischnorhynchinae and Orsillinae which contain 5 genera and 6 species and 4 genera and 12 species respectively.

  • Lygaeidae (Heteroptera)

  • Pachybrachius sp.