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The Lucerne Bug / Adelphocoris lineolatus

AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaHemipteraMiridaeAdelphocorisA. lineolatus

Reaching 8 to 10 mm in length this plant bug is relatively large. There are other similar pale greenish bugs but most of them are smaller. The head is wider than long. Its pronotum is monochrome (like in the photos here) or has two or four dark spots. Since there are several very similar species, the basic distinguishing features to pay attention to are the colour of hair and the length of antennae segments. Adelphocoris lineolatus has pale/white hair and two outer antennae segments being of different length than other segments. Adelphocoris quadripunctatus has darker hair. Closterotomus norwegicus has dark hair and all antennae segments of the similar length.

Females usually lay 80-120 eggs, sometimes up to 300. Bugs place eggs into young stems and branches of lucerne and other plants. The eggs develop in 8-12 days and some eggs delay hatching and overwinter. The adults can be found between July and October.

It is a common bug with a wide distribution in Western Europe, Northern Africa, Middle East, Eastern and Northern Asia and - as an immigrant - in Northern America. In the USA it is known as the Alfalfa Plant Bug.

Both adult bugs and larvae of Adelphocoris lineolatus are harmful to plants. They damage the plants by puncturing the host tissue and sucking the sap The pest in agriculture causes damage to lucerne, sainfoin, less often melilot, clover, lupine and other leguminous grasses, sporadically cotton, peanut, chick-pea, lentil, soya, string bean and sunflower.
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