Notes on the feeding behavior of Teratocoris saundersi (Hemiptera: Miridae) in Iceland: phytophagy, zoophagy, and adventitious biting
Alfred G. Wheeler, Johannes F. Skaftason
Host plants of the stenodemine mirid Teratocoris saundersi Douglas & Scott, 1869 in Iceland include the grasses Agrostis capillaris, Deschampsia cespitosa, Elymus repens, and Leymus arenarius (Poaceae), and sedges, Carex spp. (Cyperaceae). Specific host associations for T. saundersi in Iceland previously were unknown. Larvae and adults fed mainly on leaves and stems of their graminoid hosts; during cloudy weather, the bugs were observed in thatch beneath host plants. An adult fed on nectar from a flower of arctic sea rocket, Cakile arctica (Brassicaceae). Larvae and adults fed occasionally as predators or scavengers on small Diptera and pierced human skin. Observations on zoophagy further document the use of animal matter by species of Teratocoris Fieber, 1858, whereas adventitious biting by T. saundersi is reported for the first time. The zoophagous tendencies of T. saundersi might contrast with the feeding habits of stenodemines that are regarded as strict phytophages, for example, most species of Stenodema Laporte, 1833 and Trigonotylus Fieber, 1858.