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Lace bugs! Everyone should look for these

 
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 547
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Lace bugs! Everyone should look for these Reply with quote

Members of the Tingidae family in the Hemiptera are commonly known as lace bugs. These small insects feed on plant juices, and they get their name from their lacy pattern of wing veins. Here is but one species, Gargaphia tiliae, aka the Linden lace bug.

Linden lacebug by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

The common name indicates that this particular species is found on Linden trees. That is fairly typical, since different species have a fairly specific host range of plants. I know of about 5 species in my area. Here is a bunch of thumbnail pictures from BugGuide which at once shows a number of different species.
https://bugguide.net/index.php?q=search&keys=lace+bug&search=Search

So why should everyone look for these? Well, obviously they are beautiful. What is more, although they are small they are pretty easy to photograph since they are usually not inclined to walk around. I bet that several of the folks here could take these into the studio, on a fresh host leaf, and do stacked photographs of live ones. Dead ones too, of course.

I know of two methods to find them. One is to walk down a forest path and look under the leaves of broad-leafed trees. They seem to be patchy in their distribution, meaning that you can search and find nothing, or find a hundred. Tiny dark spots on leaves are a sign that lacebugs are around. Nymphs tend to aggregrate, as shown in here:
Lacebug nymphs by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

So if bugs like these are found, you only need to come back in a couple weeks to see adult lace bugs!

A second method to find lace bugs is to use a sweeping net in a field. This might be the quickest way although you would not have information about their host plant.
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Toby



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 27
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice captures, only ever seen a couple I found by accident but hopefully find more with your tips.
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 547
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toby wrote:
nice captures, only ever seen a couple I found by accident but hopefully find more with your tips.

They seem rather specific to certain host plants, with certain species on certain plants. Look for the tiny black dots on the undersides of leaves too. That means they are around, or will be around when they grow up.
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Sippyjug



Joined: 19 Nov 2018
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet another series of fantastic images.
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