Anthocorid (Flower) Bugs

General Description

At least five species of flower bugs are important predators in BC orchards. Perhaps most common is the minute pirate bug.


Aphids, pear psylla, mites, thrips, small insects.



Egg - creamy white, elongate, inserted into leaf tissue just beneath the epidermis causing a bump, and usually invisible.

Nymph - young nymph is yellowish to orange, older nymph is yellowish-brown, mature nymph 1.8 – 3.7 mm (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Minute pirate bug nymphs. (BCMA)

Adult - Narrow pointed head, elongate, shiny dark brown or black body with white markings, size 2.0-4.0 mm. Relatively fast moving (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Adult minute pirate bug.

Life History

Overwinter as adults in and around orchards under tree bark, wooden structures or in ground cover vegetation. Become active early in the season. There are three or four generations per year.


Limb taps will detect adults and nymphs.