Graphosoma lineatum

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Graphosoma lineatum
Italian striped bug (Graphosoma lineatum italicum).jpg
G. l. italicum
Warsaw, Poland
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)

Cimex lineatus Linnaeus, 1758
Cimex italicus Müller, 1766
Cimex nigrolineatus Fabricius, 1781
Tetyra schangini Gebler, 1817
Scutellara lineata v. flavipes Mulsant & Rey, 1865
Graphosoma lineatum v. reductum Horváth, 1901
Graphosoma italicum v. ochraceum Royer, 1923
Graphosoma italicum v. obscurum Stipanek, 1926
Graphosoma italicum f. soosi Halaszfy, 1953
Graphosoma italicum v. nigriscutellatum Halaszfy, 1955
Graphosoma italicum f. flavolineatum Halaszfy, 1955

Graphosoma lineatum is a species of shield bug in the family Pentatomidae. It is also known as the Italian striped bug and minstrel bug.


Some authors consider G. lineatum and G. italicum as two different species, but others treat them as subspecies or geographic color forms: G. lineatum, with orange legs, is present in the south of Italy, Sardinia, North Africa, and the Near East,G. italicum, blacklegged, is distributed more towards central and northern Europe. [1]


  • G. l. italicum (O.F. Müller, 1766) - legs are black, except for the third tibia
  • G. l. lineatum (Linnaeus, 1758) - similar, but having always red legs, color tends to orange


G. lineatum can reach a length of 8–12 mm (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 abdominal segments (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 do not have the red-black stripe pattern, but 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.


G. l. italicum is common across most of Europe, while G. l. lineatum can be found in North Africa, southern France, Corsica, Portugal, Spain, southern Italy, Sardinia, and 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,
  1. ^ (Ribes et al., 2008; Dusoulier and Lupoli, 2006).

External links[edit]