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Alydus calcaratus MHNT Dos.jpg
Alydus calcaratus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Heteroptera
Infraorder: Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily: Coreoidea
Family: Alydidae
Amyot & Serville, 1843

and see text


Coriscidae Stichel, 1925

Alydidae, commonly known as broad-headed bugs, is a family of true bugs very similar to the closely related Coreidae (leaf-footed bugs and relatives). There are at least 50 genera and 290 species altogether. Distributed in the temperate and warmer regions of the Earth, most are tropical and subtropical animals; for example Europe has a mere 10 species, and only 2 of these occur outside the Mediterranean region.


Riptortus sp. in Kerala

Broad-headed bugs are up to 10–12 millimetres (0.4–0.5 in) long, and have slender bodies. Some have long and very thin legs. The most notable characteristics of the family are that the head is broad, often similar in length and width to the pronotum and the scutellum, and that the last antennal segments are elongated and curved. The compound eyes are globular and protruding, and they also have ocelli. The femora of the hindlegs bear several strong spines; the tarsus has three segments. Most species have well-developed hemelytra (forewings), allowing them to fly well, but in some the hemelytra are vestigial. The membranous part of the hemelytra have several closely spaced long veins.

Alydidae are generally of dusky or blackish coloration. The upperside of the abdomen is usually bright orange-red. this color patch is normally not visible as it is covered by the wings; it can be exposed, perhaps to warn would-be predators of these animals' noxiousness: They frequently have scent glands that produce a stink considered to be worse than that of true stink bugs (Pentatomidae). The stink is said to smell similar to a bad case of halitosis.

Sometimes the adults have reduced wings. Both, nymphs and adults of some species, such as Dulichius inflatus and Hyalymenus spp. are ant mimics and live in ant nests.[1]


These bugs mainly inhabit fairly arid and sandy habitat, like seashores, heathland, steppe and savannas. Their main food is seeds, which they pierce with their proboscis to drink the nutritious fluids contained within. Some are economically significant pests, for example Leptocorisa oratoria on rice.


Three major lineages of broad-headed bugs are known. Two are generally accepted as subfamilies, the third is either placed as a tribe Leptocorisini in the Microelytrinae,[2] or treated as a third subfamily Leptocorisinae.[3]


These 59 genera belong to the family Alydidae:

Data sources: i = ITIS,[4] c = Catalogue of Life,[5] g = GBIF,[6] b =[7]


  1. ^ Oliveira PO (1985). "On the mimetic association between nymphs of Hyalymenus spp. (Hemiptera: Alydidae) and ants". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 83 (4): 371–384. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1985.tb01182.x. 
  2. ^ Carl W. Schaefer (1999). "The higher classification of the Alydidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera)". Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 101 (1): 94–98. 
  3. ^ I. Ahmad (1965). "The Leptocorisinae (Heteroptera: Alydidae) of the world". Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History. 5 (Supplement): 1–156. 
  4. ^ "Alydidae Report". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Browse Alydidae". Catalogue of Life. Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Alydidae". GBIF. Retrieved 2018-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Alydidae Family Information". Retrieved 2018-04-23.