Graphosoma lineatum

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Graphosoma lineatum
Pentatomidae - Graphosoma lineatum italicum-001.JPG
Graphosoma lineatum italicum. Dorsal view
Graphosoma italicum August 2007-3.jpg
Graphosoma lineatum copulating. Ventral view
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Heteroptera
Superfamily: Pentatomoidea
Family: Pentatomidae
Genus: Graphosoma
Species: G. lineatum
Binomial name
Graphosoma lineatum
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Graphosoma lineatum is a species of shield bug in the family Pentatomidae. It is also known as the Italian Striped-Bug and Minstrel Bug.


Graphosoma lineatum

Most contemporary authors consider G. lineatum and G. italicum as two different species: G. lineatum, with orange legs, is present in the south of Italy, in Sardinia, in North Africa and in the Near East while G. italicum, blacklegged, is distributed more towards the center and north of Europe (Ribes et al., 2008; Dusoulier and Lupoli, 2006). Others still consider G. italicum as a synonym of G. lineatum or as a subspecies (G. lineatum subsp. italicum – as follows).


  • Graphosoma lineatum italicum (O.F. Müller, 1766) - Large black and red bands, legs are black, except for the third tibia.
  • Graphosoma lineatum lineatum (Linnaeus, 1758) - Similar to G. italicum, but having always red legs. Color tends to orange.


Graphosoma lineatum can reach a length of 8–12 millimetres (0.31–0.47 in). The body is almost round, with a large shield. The basic color of the upperside of the body is bright red, with wide black longitudinal stripes. The pronotum has six black bands. The antennae are black. Also the sides of the abdomen (Connexivum) are red with many small black spots. The legs may be black or red, depending on the subspecies.

The bold red and black warning colours (aposematism) indicate that the insects are foul-tasting, protecting them from predators. The nymphs have no the red-black stripe pattern, they are mostly brownish or grayish.

These shield bugs are frequently found on the umbels of Apiaceae (Heracleum, Anthriscus, Foeniculum, etc.) and often on the flowers of the Greater Pignut, Bunium bulbocastanum.

Similar species[edit]

  • Graphosoma semipunctatum (Fabricius, 1775). The legs are orange, the red and black bands are interrupted on the pronotum, where they form black points. The distribution is restricted to the Mediterranean region.
  • Graphosoma melanoxanthum, Horvath, 1903. Dark connexivi with small red points. It is distributed in South Russia, Turkey and Iran
  • Graphosoma creticum, Horváth 1909. Thin black bands on pronotum, smaller body, orange in color. It is present in Crete


G. lineatum italicum is common across most of Europe, while G. lineatum lineatum can be found in North Africa, southern France, Corsica, Portugal, Spain, southern Italy, Sardinia and in the Near East.


G. lineatum is an insect of warm and sunny areas. It prefers warm slopes and meadows located on south-facing slopes.


  • Johansen, A. I. (2009) Adaptive change in protective coloration in the striated shieldbug graphosoma lineatum (heteroptera: pentatomidae). Dissertation, Stockholm university.
  • Larsson, F. K. (1989) Female longevity and body size as predictors of fecundity and egg length in Graphosoma lineatum L. Deutsche Entomol. Zeitschr. 36: 329-334.
  • Sˇlachta, M et al. (2002) Entering diapause is a prerequisite for successful cold-acclimation in adult Graphosoma lineatum (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). J. Ins. Physiol. 48: 1031-1039.
  • Michael Chinery, Insectes de France et d'Europe occidentale, Flammarion, May 2005, 320 p.
  • Dusoulier et Lupoli, Synopsis des Pentatomoidea de France, Nouvelle Revue d’entomologie,

External links[edit]