Thursday, July 05, 2007

Leptopterna dolobrata

Leptopterna dolobrata

Leptopterna dolobrata is one of Linnaeus' own species, from the 1758 edition of Systema Natura. Although these mirids are reported from all sorts of grasses, I invariably find it on Dactylis glomerata (Orchard Grass), another Linnaeus species. I assume the mirid arrived in North America with its introduced host plant. It is much collected incidentally by researchers looking for other things, so most specimens in collections are sorry-looking, battered things, but in life they are handsome insects with orange coria on the males and green on the females. The adults in these photos were intent on making more Leptopterna dolobratae, and were apt to fly away. In flight they are rather slow, and of a size to be confused with nondescript "flies."

Leptopterna dolobrata Leptopterna dolobrata

Leptopterna dolobrata has the same Boola-Boola rhythm as Oncopeltus fasciatus, but the juxtaposition of the p's and t's keeps it from rolling off the tongue with the same ease. (Now you know my secret method for learning taxonomic names--in plant taxonomy class, we used to sing them.)

Leptopterna dolobrata mating pair Leptopterna dolobrata, mating pair

Some Leptopterna dolobrata and Dactylus glomerulus photos and references:

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