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The effect of moisture source and diet on the development and reproduction of the pirate bugs, Orius thripoborus (Hesse) and Orius naivashae (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) was examined in the laboratory. Both species had been collected in and around sugarcane fields in South Africa. Supplementing eggs of the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) with a green bean pod as a moisture source yielded better nymphal survival and faster development, as compared with free water encapsulated in Parafilm, suggesting that the predators may extract extra nutrients from the bean pod. The impact of two factitious foods and moist honey bee pollen on developmental and reproductive parameters of both predators was also investigated. The overall performance of both Orius species on E. kuehniella eggs and cysts of brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana Kellogg (Crustacea: Artemiidae) was better than on pollen. Nonetheless, a pollen diet alone allowed 66 and 78% of the nymphs of O. thripoborus and O. naivashae, respectively, to reach adulthood. Overall, developmental and reproductive performance of O. thripoborus on the tested diets was superior to that of O. naivashae. The implications of these findings for the mass production of these predators and their potential role in biological control programs in southern Africa are discussed.