Clemson University ArthropodCollection (CUAC)
Pseudoxenetus regalis (Uhler, 1890)
HEMIPTERA: Heteroptera: Miridae
Description: There are two color morphs of Pseudoxenetus regalis that were once classified as two separate species (Henry 1985). Morph regalis has an orange pronotum and a white scutellum. Morph scutellatus has a black pronotum and a white scutellum. A variation of scutellatus is an orange scutellum instead of white which Blinn (1988) studied as a specimen from Florida. There are two such specimens in the CUAC, one from Transylvania County, NC and one from Pickens County, SC. Henry (1985) stated that scutellatus is more common in the northern US and regalis is more common in the southern portion. Of thirty specimens in the CUAC collected in the southeastern US, 8 are regalis, 20 are scutellatus, and 2 are the orange scutellatus variation. Adult specimens in the pinned collection range from 6.81 to 7.36 mm in length and 1.51 to 1.77 mm in width. Indicative of the Miridae is the presence on the hemelytra of a cuneus and one or two closed cells at the base of the membrane. There is a lateral white stripe across the hemelytra near the membrane. Compound eyes are present but ocelli are lacking. Antennae and beak are 4-segmented. The third segment of the antennae is white. (Kelton 1975, Triplehorn and Johnson 2005).
Life Cycle: There is one generation per year. The overwintering stage is the egg, which is inserted the previous summer in woody stems of oaks. Hatching of eggs typically coincides with the unfolding of the new foliage on oaks. Nymphs molt five times. From hatching to adult takes 3-4 weeks. Adults live for only 3-4 weeks (Blinn 1988).
Locations: Pseudoxenetus regalis has been recorded from the following states: CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, TX, VA, WV, and WS (Henry and Froeschner 1988). Although SC was not listed in the Catalog of the Heteroptera (1988), the CUAC holds collections from SC dating back to 1936. Specimens in the CUAC are from Anderson, Barnwell, Calhoun and Pickens Counties in SC; Clarke and Rabun Counties in GA; and Transylvania County in NC.
Dates of Collections: In SC collections were made in May and June. The specimens from GA were collected on May 7 and June 13. The specimen from NC was collected on May 25.
Plant Hosts: Pseudoxenetus regalis feeds exclusively on oaks, but has been collected from other plant species. Oak species that it has been collected from are Quercus alba L., Q. ilicifolia Wangenh., Q. imbricaria Michx., Q. marilandica Münchh., Q. prinoides Willd., Q. rubra L., Q. stellata Wangenh., Q. velutina Lam., and Q. virginiana Mill. Other plant species that Pseudoxenetus regalis has been recorded on are apple, ash and pecan (Blinn 1988, Wheeler 1991, Burke et al. 1994).
Feeding Injury: Nymphs feed on both the staminate catkins and the newly expanded leaves (Blinn 1988).
Blinn, R L. 1988. Pseudoxenetus regalis (Heteroptera: Miridae: Orthotylinae): Seasonal history and description of fifth instar. Journal of New York Entomological Society 96:310-313.
Burke, H R, J A Jackson, and M Rose. 1994. Insects associated with woody ornamental plants. Texas Cooperative Extension Services EEE00019:1-166. Available from: http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/publications/epubs/eee_00019.html (Accessed on 30 June 2011).
Henry, T J. 1985. Newly recognized synonyms, homonyms, and combinations in the North American Miridae (Heteroptera). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 93:1121-1136.
Henry, T J and R C Froeschner, eds. 1988. Catalog of the Heteroptera, or true bugs, of Canada and the Continental United States. E. J. Brill, Leiden. 958 pp.
Triplehorn, C A and N F Johnson. 2005. Borror and Delong’s introduction to the study of insects. Thomson Brooks/Cole. USA. 864pp
Wheeler, A G. 1991. Plant bugs of Quercus ilicifolia: myriads of mirids (Heteroptera) in pitch pine-scrub oak barrens. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 99:405-440.