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General Information

Common name: Lygus bug

Lygus bug species

  1. Pale legume bug (Lygus elisus)
  2. Tarnished plant bug (L. lineolaris)
  3. Western tarnished plant bug (L. hesperus)

Host plants

Alfalfa, beans, Brassicas, cotton, clover, cucurbits, fruit trees, grasses, lentils, peas, Solanaceous, sugar beets, seed crops, strawberry, and other fruit and leafy vegetables


Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas


Lygus bugs feed on the young apical leaves, flowers and flower buds, tender stems, and developing seeds. The feeding damage causes stem or leaf death, aborted flowers, and/or distorted seeds.

In cotton, the bugs are found feeding on the top growing points and on the floral buds. The feeding damage results in shedding of the squares and buds, damaged bolls, and growth of unnecessary branches.

In pepper and eggplants, the bugs are found feeding on the flower buds. Their feeding results in no fruit development. In tomato, they are found feeding on the fruits by piercing the skins. The feeding damage causes dimpled and malformed fruits. While in potato, they are found feeding on flowers and leaflets. The feeding damage will result to wilting of the leaflets and dropping of flowers.

In cucurbits, the bugs are found feeding on the flowers, leaves, and stems.

In beans, the bugs are found feeding on flowers and pods.

In crucifers, the bugs are found piercing on any parts of the plants. Their feeding damage causes a brown streak along the surface of the curd and brown beads that are scattered on the heads.

In canola and alfalfa, the bugs are found feeding on flowers and developing seeds. This feeding damage causes visible lesions to the surfaces of the stems, buds, flowers, and pods.

In lentils, they bugs are found feeding on the immature reproductive structure of the seeds that causes deformed seeds. This fedding damage is called the "chalky spot syndrome". During heavy infestation; the pods are empty, the seeds are shriveled, or there is a premature drop of seeds.


The eggs are tubular and tiny about 1 mm long, and are laid partly inside the leaf and bud tissues. An egg hatches in about 10 days.

The nymph is ovoid and 1-4 mm long. Newly hatched, it is similar to an aphid, but it moves quickly when disturbed. The nymph has reddish tips on its antennae. Its legs are mottled-brown at all stages. An older nymph is pale to medium-brown and has 5 black spots on its back. It looks like the adult, only wingless.

The adult varies in color from a pale yellowish-green to dark reddish-brown. It is about 6-7 mm long, flattened, and oval. The distinguishing characteristics are the yellowish, V-shaped markings on top of the body and membranous wingtips. It is very active and promptly flies away when disturbed.
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