Martincito's picture

Dicyphus epilobii - cannibal?

Observed: 6th October 2013 By: MartincitoMartincito’s reputation in InvertebratesMartincito’s reputation in InvertebratesMartincito’s reputation in InvertebratesMartincito’s reputation in Invertebrates
Dicyphus epilobii... cannibal?
IMG_5525
IMG_5547
IMG_5551
IMG_5564
Description:

I'm pretty sure that these are both Dicyphus epilobii, but what is going on here? The active insect was taking a lot of interest in the one underneath, which was pretty badly injured I think. Is this an example of bug-on-bug cannibalism?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Dicyphus (Dicyphus) epilobii interacts

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

Cannibalism

Cannibalism is certainly what it looks like. As far as I know Dicyphus bugs are fairly general predators, despite their delicate appearance. I have seen them feeding on other bugs before (although as fas I recall this has only been when the other bug was already injured), but not the same species.

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

Joe Botting's picture

new for me too...

I've certainly seen predatory mirids feeding on other mirids, but like you, never on its own species. As a lot of nymphs occur in a small area, it would be really detrimental if they did start to eat each other. I wonder whether in this case the prey was already dead or badly injured - I'd be surprised to find the other Dicyphus had actually killed it, but you never know.

Martincito's picture

I've added some more

I've added some more photos...