Meadow Plant Bug – Leptopterna dolabrata

Meadow Plant Bug – Leptopterna dolabrata

Meadow Plant Bug - Leptopterna dolabrata

Male unfurling wings

Family Miridae – Plant Bugs
Live adult bugs photographed at DuPage County, Illinois.  Adult Size = 10mm

The meadow plant bug, as might be expected, is found on various meadow grasses, including softgrass (Holcus), foxtail barley, western wheatgrass, quackgrass, big and little bluestem, and  junegrass [3]. This bug was accidentally introduced from its native Europe in 1832 and is now endemic across North America.

Plant bugs, stink bugs, and lacebugs use their sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap. Damage ranges from many small white spots on the leaves to distortion or destruction of plant tissue, depending on the pest and host plant. Some feed on many different types of plants while others feed only on a narrow range or single species. [1]

Meadow Plant Bug - Leptopterna dolabrata


Most plant bugs are considered aesthetic nuisance pests since they rarely kill their host plants. However, leaf and flower distortion can be very severe and can greatly reduce the aesthetic value of landscape plants. Plant bugs  insert their mouth stylets into host plant tissues and inject a tissue dissolving saliva. They then suck out the liquefied plant tissues, much like other bugs suck the insides from their insect prey.

nymphs of Meadow Plant Bug - Leptopterna dolabrata


This adult male bug is feeding with rostrum inserted into a grass stem


  1. Plant Bugs and Lacebugs | University of Kentucky Entomology
  2., Meadow Plant Bug – Leptopterna dolabrata
  3. S. McNeil, Dept. of Zoology, Imperial College, “The Dynamics of a Population of L. dolabrata

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