First Documented Report of Phytocoris buenoi Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae) Biting a Human

On 21 July 2018, I felled a 97’ Norway spruce in Patton Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania. While limbing the fallen tree, I felt a sharp pain in my forearm and noticed a mirid biting me (Figs. 1–3). I photographed the offending bug with a Galaxy S7 mobile phone (Samsung, Seoul, South Korea) but did not have a vial with which to collect it. A small, pinkish, itchy welt approximately 1/2 cm in diameter formed at the site (Fig. 4). The welt spontaneously resolved within 10 minutes, while the itching slowly faded after about an hour. I identified the mirid as a species of Phytocoris Fallén and emailed photographs to Al Wheeler and Tom Henry for confirmation, who both identified it as P. buenoi. Dr. Henry indicated that he has been previously bitten by P. buenoi (“This species…naturally probes if one lands on the skin--and it smarts!”) but was unaware of any published reports of its biting. Wheeler (2001) did not list P. buenoi as a species known to bite humans, and my literature search did not uncover any subsequent publications that report the phenomenon. This note, therefore, represents the first documented report of biting by P. buenoi.



Work Title First Documented Report of Phytocoris buenoi Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae) Biting a Human
Open Access
  1. Michael Skvarla
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Date July 23, 2020
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited November 12, 2021




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