green plant bug

(Ilnacora malina)

Conservation Status
green plant bug
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Plant bugs (family Miridae) is the largest family of true bugs (suborder Heteroptera). There are more than 10,000 known species worldwide, several hundred in North America. Green plant bug is a small, soft-bodied true bug, a medium-sized to large plant bug. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains, from Vermont to Minnesota south to Missouri and Virginia, and in adjacent Canadian provinces. Based on the number of reported sightings in North America, it is not very common.

Adults are soft-bodied, elongated, slender, almost parallel-sided, and 3 16 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm) in length.

The head is wider than the base of hardened plate covering the thorax (pronotum). The front of the head is almost vertical. The compound eyes are large and oval. There are no simple eyes (ocelli). The face and the top of the head are black. The beak-like part of the head containing the mouth parts (rostrum) has four segments. It is short, stout, and projects downward and forward when sucking plant juices. The neck is well defined. The antennae have four segments beyond the short basal segment (scape). They are thin and long, much longer than the head and as long as the entire thickened wing covers (hemelytra). The last half of the first segment and the entire second segment are black. The last two segments are much paler.

The pronotum is wider than long and is bell-shaped when viewed from above. It is yellowish-green at the front, fading to green at the rear. It is sparsely covered with short white hairs. There is a round black spot on each side.

There are two pairs of wings. They are held flat over the body when at rest. They are longer than and completely cover the body. The front wings (hemelytra) are longer than the hind wings. The exoskeletal plate between the wing bases (scutellum), is large, triangular, and green, with a depressed black spot in the middle at the base. The hemelytra have a thickened, leathery part at the base and a thin membranous part at the tip with a clear dividing line between the two. The thickened part is comprised of the narrow area (clavus) behind the scutellum when the wings are closed and the broad marginal area (corium). At the end of the corium there is a small but distinct triangular area (cuneus). The clavus, corium, and cuneus are green. There is a prominent dark streak in the middle of the clavus, a thinner streak in the corium, and a black spot in the cuneus. The membranous tip is dark black with yellow veins. It has two closed cells. The hind wing is completely thin and membranous.

The legs are green, long, and delicate. The third leg segment (femur) is stout and somewhat flattened. The fourth segment (tibia) of the hind leg is very long. The end part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has 3 segments. The tips of the tibia and tarsi are brownish-black.




Total Length: 3 16 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm)


Similar Species


Damp, shady, grassy and weedy areas




Mid-June to late July






Life Cycle




Nymph Food




Adult Food


Plant juices of giant ragweed and goldenrod.


Distribution Map



24, 29, 30.




Not common



Hemiptera (true bugs, hoppers, aphids, and allies)  


Heteroptera (true bugs)  


Cimicomorpha (cimicomorph bugs)  




Miridae (plant bugs)  











Common Names


green plant bug











The triangular, hardened, horn-like tip of the forewing of a plant bug (family Miridae).



On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.



The forewing of true bugs (Order Hemiptera), thickened at the base and membranous at the tip. Plural: hemelytra.



Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.



The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.



The stiff, beak-like projection of the carapace or prolongation of the head of an insect, crustacean, or cetacean.



The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.



The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.



The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.






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Alfredo Colon

    green plant bug      








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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

green plant bug  






Created: 6/15/2019

Last Updated:

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