Submitted to: Special Publications of the Virginia Museum of Natural History
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2008
Publication Date: 9/18/2009
Citation: Henry, T.J. 2009. A new species of conifer-inhabiting plant bug from Virginia belonging to the Phytocoris junceus group (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Miridae), with one new synonym. Special Publications of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. 16:287-293. Interpretive Summary: Plant bugs represent the largest family of true bugs. Many, such as lygus bugs, are among the most important agricultural pests, causing enormous economic losses to crops annually. In contrast, a significant number of other plant bugs are now being recognized as important predators of other arthropods, including such pests as aphids, scale insects, and mites. The new species of plant bug treated in this paper is thought to be predatory and thus beneficial. This paper provides the description and illustrations of a new plant bug species related to a group that occurs on pine and spruce trees. This information will assist researchers in distinguishing this species from other plant bugs and will aid agricultural specialists involved in evaluating predators for use in the biological control programs of forest and ornamental pests.
Technical Abstract: The new plant bug Phytocoris hoffmani, new species, is described from specimens collected in Highland County, Virginia. This new species belongs to the Phytocoris junceus group and is most closely related to P. dreisbachi Knight. Photographs of the adult and figures of male genitalia of P. hoffmani are provided to help distinguish it from other species of Phytocoris. In addition, P. dentatus Knight, described from British Columbia, is shown to be a synonym of P. dreisbachi Knight (new synonymy) described from Michigan and later reported from Idaho, Manitoba, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.