The hemipteran suborder Heteroptera, or true bugs, comprises about 40,000 species in 86 families and is one of the largest groups of non-holometabolous insects. True bugs are found in terrestrial, aquatic, and even marine habitats and their feeding preferences range from phytophagous to zoophagous and hematophagous, involving monophagy, mixed feeding, and parasitism. The group includes plant pests, beneficial species used in integrated pest management, but with the Triatominae, or kissing bugs, also powerful human disease vectors.                              

Our lab at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) focuses on systematic and evolutionary research on Reduviidae, or assassin bugs, minute litter bugs, Dipsocoromorpha, and Miridae, the plant bugs. 

Some ongoing and recent projects: 

Reduviidae PEET grantTri-trophic ADBC ProjectNSF ARTS Litter Bugs


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  Call for Phymata !!!

Read more about ongoing projects on kissing bugs

 * Current News from the Bug Lab*

May 2018 Stephanie received an Honorable Mention from the Ford Grant. Congrats!

January 2018 Our publication describing a new species of Schizopteridae from Costa Rica, Meganannus lewisi was published!

November 2017 Most of the lab attended the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Denver, CO.

October 2017 Christiane went on a 6 week trip to attend the Dresden meeting and collect in Borneo.

September 2017 First annual lab field trip, to Arizona! It was fun, but some got bitten by scorpions :))

August 2017 Sam Smith, a new PhD student working on Emesinae, arrives at UCR!

July 2017 Our lab gained 3 new members! Welcome Stephanie Castillo (our new PhD student), Nallely Centeno Armenta (our NICE NRT summer undergrad) and Sile Du (our 6 month visiting student from China)!

May 2017 Christiane was awarded the 2017 Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Award! Congrats Christiane!

April 2017 The phylogeny of Schizoptera has been published!

April 2017 Paul received the Herbert Kraft Scholarship and Alex received the Dr. Mir S. Mulla & Leila Mulla Endowed Scholarship Fund. Congrats guys!

April 2017 Paul received a $1500 UC Mexus travel grant to travel to Mexico this summer to collect Phymata. Congrats Paul!

December 2016 Our publications on the the enigmatic African assassin bug genus Xenocaucus, and Neotropical Hypselosomatinae have been published!

December 2016 The Heteropteran Systematics Lab @ UCR is looking for a new PhD student (starting fall 2017) who would be part of a research team investigating the evolutionary history of Reduvioidea, the assassin bugs. Candidates with strong background in systematic entomology and phylogenetics are preferred. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information (please attach your CV) and check UCR Entomology for details on application procedures. 

November 2016 The phylogeny of Schizoptera has been accepted.

November 2016 Our Schizoptera (Odontorhagus) revision is published! Stay tuned for our papers on Oriental Physoderinae, the enigmatic African assassin bug genus Xenocaucus, and Neotropical Hypselosomatinae, which are all in press!

October 2016 Our Largidae symbiont paper is published! 

October 2016 Alex attended a 2 week workshop on Anchored Hybrid Enrichment in Tallahassee, FL.

October 2016 Christiane, Alex, Eric, Paul, and Sarah attended the ECN and ICE meetings in Orlando, FL.

September 2016 Carlos Rosas joined our lab as a new PhD student through UCMEXUS here to study Miridae. Welcome Carlos!