Posts Tagged ‘Tingidae’
Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Tingidae: Stephanitis takeyai Drake & Maa, 1955
This week for the insect of the week we return to the suborder Heteroptera or true bugs. While not a true native of North Carolina this species has been in the state long enough to be considered a native, much like many of the residents of the Triangle area. Stephanitis takeyai is in the family Tingidae, or lace bugs, and is an invasive species that entered the U.S. most likely on nursery stock, as do many invasive species.
Members of the lace bug family are characterized by the distinctive lacelike network of areoles adorning the hemelytra and pronotum. The diverse genus Stephanitis is known from no fewer than 64 species in the Old World. There is only 1 truly native U.S. species, S. blatchleyi Drake, from Florida.
The andromeda lace bug was described from Japan as Tingis globulifera by Matsumura (1905), who later transferred the species to the genus Stephanitis Stål. Drake and Maa (1955) discovered the homonymy with Tingis globifera Walker, 1873, and renamed Matsumura’s species as Stephanitis takeyai.
The andromeda lace bug (Stephanitis takeyai) is a pest species on plants of the genus Pieris, especially Pieris japonica, the Japanese andromeda. It originated in Japan with its host plant but has since been introduced to other areas of the world. The first report of this lacebug in the US was made from Connecticut in 1946 based on specimens collected from Pieris japonica (Bailey, 1950). There is however a report of lacebugs on Pieris japonica from New Jersey in 1933, which indicates that these museum specimens, if there are any, should be reexamined to see if any were, misidentified (White, 1933). Since its introduction this species has spread throughout the eastern US.
The host for this tingid is Pieris japonica, commonly known as the Japanese andromeda or the Lily of the valley bush and is related to rhododendron and azalea in the heath family Ericaceae. The bug produces mottling on the leaves of the plant, and heavy infestations can cause the leaves to drop in large numbers, stunting the plant’s growth. Both nymph and adult forms damage the leaves by piercing them to suck the juices, and leave dark frass on the undersides of the leaves. This species seems to only reach pest status in home plantings and nurseries.
We have 25 specimens of Stephanitis takeyai in the NCSU Insect Museum. Our specimens were collected from 3 different localities in North Carolina: Crossnore (Avery Co.), Greensboro (Guilford Co.) and Raleigh (Wake Co.). Specimens have been collected between mid-April and late-August.
StephanitisTakeyi.kml (right click, save as whatever, open in Google Earth)
Find out more
Bailey, N.S. 1950. An Asiatic tingid new to North America (Heteroptera). Psyche 57:143-145.
Bailey, N.S. 1951. The Tingoidea of New England and their biology. Ent. Americana 31: 1-140.
Drake, C.J. & T.C. Maa. 1955. Chinese and other Oriental Tingoidea (Hemiptera). Part III. Quart. J. Taiwan Mus. 8:1-11.
Matsumura, S. 1905. Thousand insects of Japan. 2:1-213.
White, R.P. 1933. The insects and diseases of Rhododendron and azalea. J. Econ. Entomol. 26:631-640.