Anthocoris nemoralis

Anthocoris nemoralis (Fabricius)

Common name: Flower bug.

Systematic position: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Heteroptera, Anthocoridae.

Geographic distribution: Europe, Middle East, and North America (introduced).

Morphology: The adults are 3–4 mm in length, with reflective forewings and a black pronotum. The legs are mostly orange-brown. The legs are mostly red-brown with some darker segments.

Life history: Anthocoris nemoralis is a predator that prefers Psyllidae. Its females lay an average of 140 eggs inside plant (usually pear) leaves that are infested and damaged by psyllids. The predator’s attraction to herbivore-infested pear trees is due to psyllid-induced plant volatiles. It raises several generations during spring and summer, feeding on all psyllid stages, and its population dynamics are closely related to those of the pear psylla.

Economic importance: The adults and nymphs of this predator often feed on and control Psyllidae, especially those infesting pears. They can be mass-reared and are in commerce, the nymphs being the preferred stage for this purpose. However, the extent of psyllid control on pears in Israel depends on the timing of the arrival of A. nemoralis from the vegetation on which it often occurs. Good host-tree management appears to encourage pest control. This predator also feeds on different aphids and shows promise for their control in greenhouses.

Effect of pesticides: The insecticide amitraz and an insect growth regulator were almost harmless to A. nemoralis in England.


Daugherty, M.P., Briggs, C.J. and Welter, S.C. 2007. Bottom-up and top-down control of pear psylla (Cacopsylla pyricola): Fertilization, plant quality, and the efficacy of the predator Anthocoris nemoralis. Biological Control 43: 257-264.

Erler, F. 2004. Natural enemies of the pear psylla Cacopsylla pyri in treated vs untreated pear orchards in Antalya, Turkey. Phytoparasitica 32: 295-304.

Horton, D.R., Lewis, T.M. and Broers, D.A. 2004. Ecological and geographic range expansion of the introduced predator Anthocoris nemoralis (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) in North America: Potential for nontarget effects? American Entomologist 50: 18-30.

Kassis, O.B. and Abu-Tara, R. 2013. Seasonal activity of the predator, Anthocoris nemoralis (F.) and the parasitoid, Trechnites psyllae (R.) against the pear psylla Cacopsylla pyricola (F.) (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Egyptian Journal of Pest Control 23:17-23.

Scutareanu, P., Drukker, B., Bruin, J., Posthumus, M.A. and Sabelis, M.W. 1997. Volatiles from psylla infested pear trees and their possible involvement in attraction of anthocorid predators. Journal of Chemical Ecology 23: 2241-2260.

Shaltiel, L. and Coll, M. 2004. Reduction of pear psylla damage by the predatory bug Anthocoris nemoralis (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae): the importance of orchard colonization time and neighboring vegetation. Biocontrol Science and Technology 14: 811-821.

Sigsgaard, L., Esbjerg, P. and Philipsen, H. 2006. Experimental releases of Anthocoris nemoralis F. and Anthocoris nemorum (L.) (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) against the pear psyllid Cacopsylla pyri L. (Homoptera: Psyllidae) in pear. Biological Control 39: 87-95.

Sigsgaard, L., Esbjerg, P. and Philipsen, H. 2006. Controlling pear psyllids by mass releasing Anthocoris nemoralis and A. nemorum (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae). Journal of Fruit and Ornamental Plant Research 14 (Suppl. 3), 1-10.

Solomon, M.G., Cranham, J.E., Easterbrook, M.A. and Fitzgerald, J.D. 1989. Control of the pear psyllid, Cacopsylla pyricola, in South East England by predators and pesticides. Crop Protection 8: 197-205.

Vitt Meyling, N., Enkegaard, A. and Brødsgaard, H. 2003. Two Anthocoris bugs as predators of glasshouse aphids – voracity and prey preference. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 108: 59-70.