College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

Christiane Weirauch

Christiane Weirauch

Professor of Entomology

hD Biology 2003

Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

MSc Biology 1998

Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, Germany

Research Areas

Morphological and molecular systematics of Heteroptera with an emphasis on assassin bugs (Reduviidae) and plant bugs (Miridae); Evolutionary biology; Biological control

Contact Information
Entomology Bldg. 125
(951) 827-5707

Our research focuses on systematics and evolution of Heteroptera or True Bugs. Heteroptera comprise about 40,000 species in 85 families and are one of the largest groups of non-holometabolous insects. True Bugs are found in terrestrial, aquatic, and even marine habitats and their feeding preferences cover the entire range from phytophagous, to zoophagous, and hematophagous, involving monophagy, mixed feeding, and parasitism. The majority of Heteroptera is plant feeding and species in many families are serious crop pests, but there are also beneficial Heteroptera that are used as biocontrol agents in integrated pest management. One aspect of our research focuses on Reduviidae or assassin bugs. With more than 6500 described species Reduviidae are the second largest and one of the morphologically and ecologically most diverse groups of Heteroptera. Mainly predators of other insects and arthropods, species of Triatominae or kissing bugs are blood feeding and transmit Chagas Disease in South and Middle America. Predation techniques comprise cleptoparasitism in spider webs, camouflage with corpses of dead prey, and sticky trap methods, some species attract and paralyze ants with gland secretions. Reduviidaetherefore range among the most inventive predators alive! Our second group of interest are Miridae or plant bugs. With about 10,000 species worldwide Miridae are the largest family of Heteroptera, but many new species remain to be described. Often plant feeding and host specific, Miridae are currently established as a model to study the evolution of insect host-plant relationships. Another striking aspect are the myrmecomorphic features of Miridae although the nature of their association with ants are still not well understood. Our studies comprise all systematic levels from species-level analyses to higher-level relationships and integrate morphological and molecular character information. We use these hypotheses to gain insights into the evolution of behaviors, such as prey specialization in Reduviidae and choice of host plant in Miridae. In addition, we are exploring comparative and functional morphology of various glands across Heteropteraand work on the functional morphology of mating in this group of insects.

Awards Received

2003-2006 - American Museum of Natural History Postdoctoral Researcher


Publications Weirauch Lab for UCR Entomology webpage (updated Sept 2012)

Hwang, W. S. and Weirauch, C. Evolutionary History of Assassin Bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae): Insights from Divergence Dating and Ancestral State Reconstruction. PlosONE, in press.

Weirauch, C., Alvarez, C., and Zhang, G. Zelus renardii and Z. tetracanthus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae): biological attributes and the potential for dispersal in two assassin bugs. Florida Entomologist, in press.

Walter, J., Fletcher, E., Moussaoui, R., Gandhi, K., and Weirauch, C. 2012. Do Bites of Kissing Bugs Cause Unexplained Allergies? Results from a Survey in Triatomine-Exposed and Unexposed Areas in Southern California. PlosONE volume 7, issue 8, e44016.

Weirauch, C. 2012. Petasolentia goellnerae, a new genus and species of Chryxinae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 122: 119-122.

Forthman, M. and Weirauch, C. 2012.Toxic associations: A review of the predatory behaviors of millipede assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Ectrichodiinae). European Journal of Entomology 109: 147-153.

Forero, D. and Weirauch, C. 2012. Comparative genitalic morphology in the Neotropical resin bugs Apiomerini (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 59: 5-41.

Berniker, L. and Weirauch, C. 2012. Polychromatism and New World biogeography:evidence from the bee assassin genus Apiomerus (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae). Systematic Entomology 37: 32-54.

Zhang, G. and Weirauch, C. 2011. Sticky predators: a comparative study of raptorial glands in harpactorine assassin bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae). Acta Zoologica, Early View. [link]

Smith, B. A., Conlan, C., Hwang, W. S., Weirauch, C. 2011. PCR detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in suboptimally preserved vectors and comparative infection rates 2007-2010 in Escondido, Southern California. Short Report. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 11: 1603-4.

Berniker, L., Szerlip, S., Forero, D. and Weirauch, C. 2011. Revision of the crassipes and pictipes species groups of Apiomerus Hahn (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae). Zootaxa 2949: 1-113.

Weirauch, C. and Schuh, R. T. 2011. Southern hemisphere distributional patterns in plant bugs (Hemiptera : Miridae : Phylinae): Xiphoidellus, gen. nov. from Australia and Ampimpacoris, gen. nov. from Argentina, show transantarctic relationships. Invertebrate Systematics 24: 473-508.

Weirauch, C. and Schuh, R. T. 2011. Systematics and Evolution of Heteroptera: 25 years of progress. Annual Review of Entomology 56: 487-510. [link]

Zhang, G. and Weirauch, C. 2011. Matching dimorphic sexes and immature stages with adults: resolving the systematics of the Bekilya group of Malagasy assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Peiratinae). Systematic Entomology, 36: 115-138.

Weirauch, C., Forero, D. and Jacobs, D. H. 2011. On the evolution of raptorial legs – an insect example (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Phymatinae). Cladistics 27: 138-149.


Schuh, R. T. and Weirauch, C. 2011. Myrtaceae-feeding Phylinae (Hemiptera: Miridae) from Australia: description and analysis of phylogenetic and host relationships for a monophyletic assemblage of three new genera. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 344: 95 pp.

Forero, D., Choe, D.-H., and Weirauch, C. 2011. Resin Gathering in Neotropical Resin Bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae): Functional and Comparative Morphology. Journal of Morphology 272: 204-229. [link]

Hwang, W. S., Zhang, G., Maslov, D., and Weirauch, C. 2010. Infection rates of Triatoma protracta (Uhler) with Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas) in Southern California and molecular identification of trypanosomes. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 83: 1020-1022.

Hwang, W. S. and C. Weirauch. 2010. Revision of the Malagasy Durevius Villiers with descriptions of two new species (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Reduviinae). Insect Systematics and Evolution 41: 123-141.

Weirauch, C. 2010. Tribelocodia ashei, new genus and new species of Reduviidae (Insecta: Heteroptera) has implications on character evolution in Ectrichodiinae and Tribelocephalinae. Insect Systematics and Evolution 41: 103-122.

Weirauch, C., Bulbert, M., and Cassis, G. 2010. Comparative trichome morphology in the assassin bug genus Ptilocnemus Westwood and other Holoptilini (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Holoptilinae). Zoologischer Anzeiger, 248: 237-253.

Weirauch, C. and Cassis, G. 2009. Frena and druckknopf: a synopsis of two fore wing-to-body coupling mechanisms in Heteropterodea (Hemiptera). Insect Systematics & Evolution 40: 229-252.

Weirauch, C. and Gerry, A. C. 2009. Bed Bugs. In: Resh and Carde (eds.) Encyclopedia of Insects.

Weirauch, C. and Munro, J. 2009. Molecular phylogeny of the assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal genes. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 53: 287-299.

Klotz, S. A., Dorn, P. L., Klotz, J. H., Pinnas, J. L., Weirauch, C., Kurtz, J. R., and Schmidt, J. 2009. Feeding behavior of tritomines from the southwestern United States: An update on potential risk for transmission of Chagas disease. Acta Tropica 111:114-118.

Soto, D. and Weirauch, C. 2009. Description of the Australian plant bug genus Jiwarli, n.gen. (Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae). American Museum Novitates 3653: 14 pp.

Weirauch, C. 2009. Two new genera of Phylini, Roburocoris n. gen. and Viscacoris n. gen., from Mexico and the southwestern United States (Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae). Entomologia Americana 115: 1-35.

Weirauch, C., Rabitsch, W., and Redei, D. 2009.Austrokatanga, gen. nov., new genus of Ectrichodiinae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae) from Australia. Zootaxa 2094: 1-15.

Schuh, R. T., Weirauch, C. and Wheeler, W. C. 2009. Cimicomorphan relationships (Insecta: Heteroptera): combining morphological and DNA sequence data (Insecta: Heteroptera). Systematic Entomology 34: 15-34.

Cassis, G. and Weirauch, C. 2008. A new species and first record of Dilatops Weirauch (Insecta: Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae) from New Caledonia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 52: 119-122.

Weirauch, C. 2008. From four to three segmented labium in Reduviidae (Heteroptera, Insecta). Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae 48: 331-344.

Weirauch, C. 2008. Mangabea barbiger, new species of Collartidini (Heteroptera, Reduviidae, Emesinae) from Madagascar. In: S. Grozeva & N. Simov (eds.) 2008. Advances in Heteroptera Research. Pensoft Publishers Sofi a–Moscow, pp. 391-402.

Schuh, R. T., Weirauch, C., Henry, T. J. and Halbert, S. 2008. Curaliidae, a new family of Heteroptera from the Eastern United States (Insecta). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 101: 20-29.

Weirauch, C. 2008. Cladistic analysis of Reduviidae (Heteroptera: Cimicomorpha) based on morphological characters. Systematic Entomology 33: 229-274.

Weirauch, C. 2007. Polyozus Eyles & Schuh and allied genera: revision and cladistic analysis of the Polyozus-group of Australian Phylini (Heteroptera: Phylinae). American Museum novitates 3590: 60pp.

Weirauch, C. 2007. Hairy attachment structures in Reduviidae (Cimicomorpha, Heteroptera), with observations on the fossula spongiosa in some other Cimicomorpha. Zoologischer Anzeiger 246: 155-175.

Weirauch, C. and Forero, D. 2007. Kiskeya palassaina, new genus and new species of Saicinae (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) from the Dominican Republic. Zootaxa 1468: 57-68.

Weirauch, C. 2006. Anatomy of disguise: Camouflaging structures in nymphs of some Reduviidae (Heteroptera). American Museum novitates 3542: 18pp.

Weirauch, C. 2006. New genus and species of fig-inhabiting Leucophoropterini (Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae) from Australia. Russian Entomological Journal 15(2): 119-124.

Weirauch, C. 2006. Observations on the sticky trap predator Zelus luridus Stål (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae), with the description of a novel gland associated with the female genitalia. Denisia, 50: 1169-1180.

Weirauch, C. 2006. New genera, new species, and new combinations in western Nearctic Phylini (Heteroptera, Miridae, Phylinae). American Museum novitates 3521: 41 pp.

Weirauch, C. 2006. New genera and species of oak-associated Phylini (Heteroptera, Miridae, Phylinae) from western North America. American Museum novitates 3522: 54 pp.

Weirauch, C. and Cassis, G. 2006. Attracting ants: The trichome in Ptilocnemus lemur (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Holoptilinae) and novel glandular areas on the sternum. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 114: 28-37.

Weirauch, C. 2006. Dorsal abdominal glands in adult Reduviidae (Cimicomorpha, Heteroptera). Mitt. Mus. Nat.kd. Berl., Dtsch. Entomol. Z 53: 91-102.

Weirauch, C. 2006. New genus and species of Physoderinae (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) from the New World, with a revised diagnosis of Physoderinae Miller. Am. Mus. Novit. 3510: 9 pp.

Weirauch, C. 2006. Metathoracic glands and associated evaporatory structures in Reduvioidea (Heteroptera: Cimicomorpha), with observation on the mode of function of the metacoxal comb. Eur. J. Entomol. 103: 97–108.

Weirauch, C. 2005. The Heteropteran “Pronotal Gland” Re-examined. J. N. Y. Ent. Soc. 113: 1–10.

Weirauch, C. 2005. Pretarsal structures in Reduviidae (Heteroptera, Insecta). Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 86: 91–110.

Forero, D. & Weirauch, C. 2005. Synonymy of Harpinoderes cicheroi Martínez & Carcavallo, 1989 with Aradomorpha crassipes Champion, 1899 (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae). Zootaxa 950: 1-4.

Forero, D., Weirauch, C. & Baena, M. 2004. Synonymy of the reduviid (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) genus Torrealbaia (Triatominae) with Amphibolus (Harpactorinae), with notes on Amphibolus venator (Klug, 1830). Zootaxa 670: 1-12.

Weirauch, C. 2004. Distribution of a sternal glandular area among female Reduviidae (Heteroptera), with discussion of a possible pheromonal function. Mitt. Mus. Nat.kd. Berl., Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 51: 3-6. Weirauch, C. 2003b. Pedicellar structures in Reduviidae - a comment on cave organ and trichobothria. Eur. J. Entomol. 100: 571-580.

Weirauch, C. 2003a. Glanduar areas associated with the male genitalia in Triatoma rubrofasciata (Triatominae, Reduviidae, Hemiptera) and other Reduviidae. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 98: 773-776.

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