meadow plant bug

(Leptopterna dolabrata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

meadow plant bug

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread, often abundant; agricultural pest on grass grown for seed

Flight/Season

June to September

Habitat

Prairies, meadows, agricultural fields, and other ungrazed grasslands

Size

Total Length: 5 16 to

         
         
          Photo by Bill Reynolds

Identification

This is a 5 16 to long, terrestrial, common, widespread plant bug. It is a small bug (order Hemiptera) but a large plant bug (family Miridae). Males and females are distinctly different in appearance.

The head is shorter than the first segment of the thorax (prothorax). There is a single pair of large, compound eyes and no simple eyes (occelli). There is a transverse furrow between the eyes.

The antennae are exposed, conspicuous, and long, much longer than the head. They have 4 principal segments and are covered with long hairs. The second segment is much longer than the third and fourth segments combined. On the female the second segment of the antenna is thinner than the base of the fourth leg segment (tibia).

The mouth parts are optimized for piercing and sucking. They take the form of a long, 4-segmented beak. The beak rises from the front of the head and extends along the underside of the body between the legs. It consists of 4 hair-like blades (stylets) with sharp tips enclosed in a 4-segmented sheath. There are two channels in the beak, one spitting out saliva to keep the food flowing, and one for sucking in liquid food. The two lower jaw-like structures (maxillae) and two lower lips do not have feeler-like structures (palps) attached.

The body is soft and elongated.

There are two pairs of wings. They are held flat over the body when at rest. On the male the wings are longer than and completely cover the body. The front wings are longer than the hind wings. They are black and yellow at first, darkening to black and orangish-red with age. On most females the wings are much shorter than the body. The front wings have a thickened section at the base and a thin membranous section at the tip with a clear dividing line between the two. The thickened section is comprised of the triangular section (scutellum) at the base, the narrow area (clavus) behind the scutellum, and the broad marginal area (corium). At the end of the corium there is a small but distinct triangular area (cuneus). The hind wing is completely thin and membranous.

The legs are covered with long hairs. The feet (tarsi) have only 3 segments.

 
Similar
Species

A plant bug (no common name) (Leptopterna ferrugata) male front wings are usually pinkish-brown. On the female the second segment of the antenna is equal in width to the base of the tibia.


Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

Mostly grasses (family Poaceae), but also Vaccinium sp. and vetch

 
Life Cycle

The female cuts into a host plant stem near the base with her ovipositor and deposits eggs in the stem. The eggs overwinter. When nymphs emerge in the spring they are wingless but otherwise similar in size and appearance to adults. They molt five times.

 
Behavior

When disturbed adults emit a strong unpleasant odor.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Hemiptera (true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids and allies)

 

No Rank:

Euhemiptera

 

No Rank:

Neohemiptera

 

No Rank:

Prosorrhyncha

 

Suborder:

Heteroptera (true bugs)

 

No Rank:

Euheteroptera

 

No Rank:

Neoheteroptera

 

No Rank:

Panheteroptera

 

Infraorder:

Cimicomorpha (thaumastocorid bugs)

 

Superfamily:

Cimicoidea

 

Family:

Miridae (jumping tree bugs, leaf bugs, plant bugs)

 

Subfamily:

Mirinae

 
Synonyms

Cimex dolabratus

 
Common
Names

meadow plant bug


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

corium

The thickened basal portion of the front wing that lies between the clavus and the membrane of insects in the family Hemiptera.

 

prothorax

The first (forward) segment of the thorax on an insect, bearing the first pair of legs but not wings.

 

scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings.

 

tarsus

The last two to five sections of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot.

 

tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this insect.

Bill Reynolds


  meadow plant bug    

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

 

       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Meadow Plant Bug (Leptopterna dolabrata)
Bill Keim
 
  Meadow Plant Bug (Leptopterna dolabrata)  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Langhaarige Dolchwanze (Leptopterna Dolabrata) www.Tierportraet.ch
Chrigu wälti
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 20, 2012

Demo zum richtigen gebrauch des Saugrüssels.
http://www.Tierportraet.ch

 
     
  Meadow plant bug (Leptopterna dolabrata) nymph [Stock footage]
The Nature Box
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 1, 2013

Nymph of meadow plant bug (Leptopterna dolabrata) on grass in a meadow.

Filmed at the Wollenberg, Hesse, Germany.

Video credit: Pristurus
License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Download: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leptopterna_dolabrata_nymph.ogv
Please see the "About" section on the channel page for details of how to use this video

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

Bill Reynolds
7/14/2003

Location: St. Louis Co.

 

meadow plant bug


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

 


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2017 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.