The Lygaeidae are a family in the Hemiptera (true bugs), with some 60 genera in six subfamilies. The family includes the insects commonly known as milkweed bugs, and also some of those known as seed bugs. The family used to be vastly larger, as numerous former subfamilies have been removed and given independent family status, including Artheneidae, Blissidae, Cryptorhamphidae, Cymidae, Geocoridae, Heterogastridae, Ninidae, Oxycarenidae, Pachygronthidae, and Rhyparochromidae, which together constituted well over half of the former family. Many of the species feed on seeds, although some feed on sap (mucivory), and a few, such as the wekiu bug, feed on insects.
The bizarre and mysterious beetle-like Psamminae were formerly often placed in the Piesmatidae, but this is almost certainly incorrect. Their true affiliations, however, are not entirely resolved to satisfaction.
List of genera
Subfamily Ischnorhynchinae (this subfamily is occasionally treated at the family level)
Subfamily Lygaeinae (list incomplete; at least 30 included genera)
Subfamily Orsillinae (this subfamily is occasionally treated at the family level)
Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii), nymph (bottom) and mature (top)
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- Henry, T.J. (1997). "Phylogenetic analysis of family groups within the infraorder Pentatomomorpha (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), with emphasis on the Lygaeoidea.". Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 90: 275–301. doi:10.1093/aesa/90.3.275.
- Cassis G., Gross G.F. (2002). "Zoological Catalogue of Australia: Hemiptera: Heteroptera (Pentatomomorpha)". CSIRO Publishing. p. 157.
- David A. Grimaldi & Michael S. Engel (2007). "An unusual, primitive Piesmatidae (Insecta: Heteroptera) in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Burma)" (PDF). American Museum Novitates. 3611: 1–17. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2008)3611[1:AUPPIH]2.0.CO;2.
- Lygaeidae, BugGuide
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