Pale Legume Bug – Lygus elisus

Pale Legume Bug: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life Cycle

Latin Name: Lygus Elisus

Appearance: Lygus Elisus, often known as the pale legume bug or lucerne plant insect, is a plant bug species in the Miridae family. It may be found throughout Central and North America, as well as Oceania.

Hosts Plants: Lygus bugs rely heavily on legumes as a food source. If these plants grow surrounding a garden, they should not be trimmed during vulnerable periods of fruits and vegetables, such as fruit set. Cutting can cause lygus bugs to migrate.

Territory: Lygus bugs are indigenous to the Prairie provinces and consist of various species, including Lygus Lineolaris, L. borealis, L. keltoni, and L. Elisus.

Damage Insect Cause: Plant bugs feast on growing leaves, fruits, and flowers, destroying the plants along their path. Young blooms, seeds, or buds may be aborted as a result of this. Older tissues may continue to develop, but they will be malformed. Fruit distortions caused by lygus insect feeding damage include leaf curling and corky ‘catface’ injuries. Peach, apricot, strawberry, and bean plants are among the most regularly injured garden plants. Most plants have some flower abortion, therefore plant bug feeding injuries have minimal influence on plant yields unless the insects are plentiful.

Adult plant bugs are oval in form, roughly twice as long as they are wide, and about 1/4 inch long. The most frequent Lygus species in Colorado are pale green, although there are also brownish and speckled varieties. The nymphs have a more rounded overall shape and are generally dark green with black markings.

Life History and Habits: Lygus bugs spend the winter as adults, hiding out under stacked leaves, bark fissures, and other safe areas. They appear in the early spring and feed on the budding buds of trees and bushes. The majority then migrate to other weeds and other plants, where females lay eggs in the stems, leaves, and buds of these plants. The young hatch, eat, and grow on these plants, reaching full maturity in approximately a month. Throughout the year, multiple generations are created.

Lygus bugs eat insects on occasion and can help with the biological control of aphids and other tiny, soft-bodied species. This is especially true of the mullein bug, which can harm fruit in the spring but subsequently becomes an essential predator of orchard insects. Furthermore, one species of plant bug is a pure predator of insects and mites.