Abstract The effects of day-length and temperature on pre-adult growth and induction of reproductive diapause are studied in Orius sauteri and Orius minutus (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) from northern (43.0°N, 141.4°E) and central (36.1°N, 140.1°E) Japan. In the north, at 20 °C, pre-adult growth is slower under an LD 14 : 10 h photoperiod than under shorter or longer photophases. At 24 and 28 °C, the longer photophases result in shorter pre-adult periods. Acceleration of nymphal growth by short days in autumn appears to be adaptive. In the central region, this response is less pronounced, suggesting that timing of adult emergence is less critical than in the north. Day length also influences the thermal requirements for pre-adult development. The slope of the regression line representing temperature dependence of pre-adult development is significantly smaller and the lower development threshold (LDT) is significantly lower under an LD 12 : 12 h photoperiod than under long-day conditions. The weaker dependence of nymphal growth on temperature and the lower LDT in autumn might be adaptive. In the north, increased temperature shifts the critical day length of diapause induction and suppresses the photoperiodic response in O. sauteri but not in O. minutus. Further south, the incidence of diapause in both species is low even under short-day conditions but the same interspecific difference is observed (i.e. increase of temperature affects the response in O. sauteri but not in O. minutus). This suggests seasonally earlier diapause induction with weaker temperature dependence in O. minutus than in O. sauteri.