Subject: Four Lined Plant Beetles, yellow & green
Location: Naperville, IL
July 1, 2013 6:21 pm
Happy July! It’s been a long time (I think) since you’ve had one of these four-lined plant beetles (Poecilocapus lineatus) depicted, and I’ve never seen them around my neck of the woods until this year. They’re munching on some hydrangea leaves, and I found this yellow one and this green one on the same leaf. They’re very pretty little pests. All the best to you!
Signature: Dori Eldridge
Thanks for the new submission, however we have a correction to make to your text. You have the scientific name correct, but your common name is not. This is a True Bug, not a Beetle. True Bugs have piercing/sucking mouthparts and they do not chew. The brown spotting on the leaves might be due to the feeding which involves sucking nutritious fluids from the plants. According to BugGuide: “nymphs and adults feed preferentially on members of the mint family (wild mint, catnip, peppermint, spearmint, hyssop, oregano) but will attack a variety of wild plants (thistle, dandelion, burdock, tansy, loosestrife, sumac) as well as cultivated flowers (carnation, geranium, chrysanthemum, snapdragon, phlox) and crops (alfalfa, ginger, currant, raspberry, cucumber, lettuce, pea, potato, radish, squash).” Hydrangeas are not mentioned as a food plant, but lists of food plants can often be incomplete. Thanks again for supplying us with excellent new images of some Four Lined Plant Bugs, Poecilocapsus lineatus.
It occurred to me after I sent these photos that these are not beetles at all, but rather, four-lined plant bugs, as in true bugs and hemipterans, not coleopterans. Sorry for the confusion; earlier today, I was watching a ladybird beetle larva molt into an adult, so I had beetles on the mind.
All the best,