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

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The members of this family are sometimes referred to as broad headed bugs.

The Alydidae feed primarily on legumes or grasses with food preference being roughly divided along subfamily lines. Several species are pests of commercial crops such as rice, millet and beans and can severely damage the harvest.

Juveniles and adults of some species are excellent mimics of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and spider wasps (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae), imitating the colour and mannerisms of the model species.


The Australian fauna comprises 2 subfamilies, 7 genera and 17 species. The subfamily Alydinae are found mostly on legumes and comprises 4 genera and 9 species. The Micrelytrinae are composed of 3 genera and 7 species and are more commonly encountered on grasses.

  • Alydidae (Heteroptera)

  • Riptortus serripes