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


  Call for Phymata !!!

Read more about ongoing projects on kissing bugs

 * Current News from the Bug Lab*

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!

August 2016 The Chinannus book is published! Here is the press release.

July 2016 Our new paper on Australian "toothbrush plant bugs" is out!

July 2016 Check out our combined morphological and molecular analysis and maternal care of resin bugs here. And the plant bug/plant host area of endemism paper is here

July 2016 The Zelus monograph is published! And here a press release covering this study.

June 2016 Exciting undergrad research projects ahead this summer: welcome to Madison Hernadez who will work on reduviid predator-prey associations! Alec (kissing bug niche models), Anna (kissing bug hosts), and Christy and Jacob (schizopterid systematics) will continue with their projects.

June 2016 Our two taxonomic monographs on the reduviid genus Zelus and the schizopterid genus Chinannus are in press!

May 2016 Paul was award a Shipley Skinner award to conduct gut metabaroding analyses on "generalist" species of assassin bugs to investigate prey ranges.

May 2016 Christiane, together with Amy Litt (Botany & Plant Sciences) and John Heraty (Entomology) were award a Collaborative Seed Grant from RED "Unlocking the vault of Southern California Biota" to explore integrate biological collections and next-gen sequencing methods. 

March 2016 Michael defended his dissertation and earned a PhD! Congrats Michael! We wish you luck at your post doc at UFL!

March 2016 Stephanie defended her thesis and earned a MS! Congrats Stephanie! We wish you luck at your new job at the Archbold Biological Station in Florida!

February 2016 Our first phylogenomic study on Reduviidae was published!