Poecilocapsus lineatus

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Poecilocapsus lineatus
Fourlined plant bug adult. Photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
Scientific classification
P. lineatus
Binomial name
Poecilocapsus lineatus Fabricius, 1798
  • Lygaeus lineatus Fabricius, 1798
  • Capsus quadrivittatus Say, 1832
  • Phytocoris bellus Emmons, 1854
  • Phytocoris vittatus Rathvon, 1869
  • Phytocoris lineatus (Fabricius, 1798); Fitch, 1870
  • Lygus lineatus (Fabricius, 1798); Glover, 1875
  • Poecilocapsus lineatus (Fabricius, 1798); Reuter, 1875
  • Poecilacapsus [sic] vittatus (Rathvon, 1869); Uhler, 1884
  • Poscilocapsus [sic] lineatus (Fabricius, 1798); LaFollette, 1915[1]

Poecilocapsus lineatus, also known as the Fourlined Plant Bug, is a species of bug in the family Miridae. This species is native to the United States.


The adults are about 7–7.5 millimetres (0.28–0.30 in) in length and 3.5 millimetres (0.14 in) in width. Adults have four distinct black lines against a background color ranging from green to yellow, with an orange head and prominent, dark red eyes. Nymphs grow rapidly through five instars, with wing pads growing at each molt. Nymphs are a bright red color with black markings, except for the last instar which is bright orange.[2][3][4]


The species can be found on all kinds of plants, including wild Hydrangea and various shrubs. The shrub variety for these species is diverse, it can range from forsythia to sumac. They feed on different perennials, and vegetables. Both larvae and adults feed on leaves creating the translucent patches of leaf tissues that may later fall out to produce tiny holes. The nymphs cause the majority of plant damage.[5]

Life cycle[edit]

This species has only one generation per year. They overwinter in the egg stage, hatching in mid to late spring. Both sexes mate within six weeks after hatching. The timing of egg hatch and development varies. In southern Pennsylvania the eggs hatched from mid to late April, with adults being seen by late May. In the northern part of the same state, the development was 1–3 weeks later. This is also true elsewhere: in the city of Lafayette in Indiana, the development was 2–3 weeks earlier than it was in Ithaca, New York.[6]


The insect is considered to be a pest, since it occasionally does damage to herbaceous plants, mints, and rarely to wood. The species damages plants during the late spring to early summer.[7]


  1. ^ Henry TJ, Froeschner RC, eds. 1988. Catalog of the Heteroptera, or True Bugs, of Canada and the Continental United States. Leiden, NY, USA. E. J. Brill
  2. ^ "Images of Adults and Damage". Cirrus Image. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  3. ^ Slingerland MV. 1893. The four-lined leaf-bug. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin. 58: 207-209.
  4. ^ "Fourlined plant bug: Description". [UF/IFAS]. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Ecology
  6. ^ Life cycle
  7. ^ Pest

External links[edit]