Minute Pirate Bug or Flat Bug???

Subject: Bed Bug, Bat Bug ?
Location: New Jersey
January 22, 2013 2:49 am
found this near my bed in the middle of the night…It appears to have many similarities to a bed bug, but not sure.
Signature: bo

Flat Bug or Minute Pirate Bug

Dear Bo,
This bug is narrower than any Bed Bug or Bat Bug images we have seen, but it does have some similarities.  We checked BugGuide and found this image of a Minute Pirate Bug,
Xylocoris cursitans, and it looks very similar to your Bug.  The species page on BugGuide indicates they are found “under bark of dead trees.”   Minute Pirate Bugs are in the family Anthocoridae, and according to BugGuide:  “many are common on flowers and trees, some live under bark or in mammal/bird nests” where they feed on “small arthropods.”  BugGuide also notes that:  “Some species are used as biocontrol agents. Some may be a nuisance: they are known for their irritating bites, mostly after landing on one’s naked arm or neck.”  Interestingly, according to BugGuide, both Bed Bugs and Minute Pirate Bugs are in the same superfamily Cimicoidea.

Minute Pirate Bug or Flat Bug

yes i do have a dead tree right outside my window, and the house I live in has issues being correctly sealed.  Might you think that these bugs could live near where that gap isn’t correctly sealed along the floor board.  Key question what are their typical habits, would they come in to bite me and leave, as this has been a long standing problem of mine and I have the bite marks to prove it.

Hi again Bryant,
We haven’t learned much about Minute Pirate Bugs, but if we do in the future, we will add to the posting.

We just received a comment indicating that this might be a Flat Bug in the genus Neuroctenus, and that also looks like a good possibility.  We don’t feel there is enough detail to be certain.  According to BugGuide, they are found:  “mostly under bark, on fallen logs & tree limbs, bracket fungi.”


3 thoughts on “Minute Pirate Bug or Flat Bug???”

  1. I was just checking out the ‘haps’ on
    BugGuide and it seems Bo posted this photo there, too. The people who have responded there seem to agree that this is Neuroctenus. Hope you guys had a great Tuesday! Toodles!


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