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The P&PDL Picture of the Week

Four-lined Plant Bug

(Photographs by Steve Mayer, Extension Educator, Marion County - photographs taken in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 19 May 2001)
Close -up of Four-Lined Plant Bug Adult on Plant Four-Lined Plant Bug & Penny Four-Lined Plant Bug Nymph
Four-Lined Plant Bug Adult Four-Lined Plant Bug Adult
with Penny
Four-Lined Plant Bug Nymph
(Photo by Peggy Sellers)
Four-Lined Plant Bug and Damage Caused Four-Lined Plant Bug Damage Close up of Four-Lined Plant Bug Damage
Four-Lined Plant Bug Adult
and Damaged Plant
Four-Lined Plant Bug Feeding Damage Close-Up of Four-Lined Plant Bug Damaged Leaf

(Click on the smaller image to view a larger image.)

Four-lined plant bugs are common pests in gardens and landscapes this time of year. Feeding injury from these insects appears as small (1/16 inch) sunken round spots on young foliage of many herbaceous and woody plants. These spots may be brown to translucent and may drop out of the leaf, leaving a shot-hole appearance. Often injured leaves become distorted and curled.

Feeding injury from four-lined plant bugs is often mistaken for a leaf spot disease. However, these spots are almost perfectly uniform and similar in size, unlike spots caused by fungi and bacteria.

Both nymphs (immatures) and adults can cause damage. Nymphs are orange-red in color and about 1/4 inch long. Adults are 3/8 inch long and lime-green with four black stripes on their backs. These insects scamper quickly when the plant they are on is disturbed.

When present in large numbers, can be controlled with insecticidal soap or a labeled insecticide.

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Last updated: 24 May 2001/tlm.
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University.