The Tingidae are a family of very small (2–10 mm (0.08–0.39 in)) insects in the order Hemiptera that are commonly referred to as lace bugs. This group is distributed worldwide with about 2,000 described species.
They are called lace bugs because the pronotum and fore wings of the adult have a delicate and intricate network of divided areas that resemble lace. Their body appearance is flattened dorsoventrally and they can be broadly oval or slender. Often, the head is concealed under the hood-like pronotum.
Lace bugs are usually host-specific and can be very destructive to plants. Most feed on the undersides of leaves by piercing the epidermis and sucking the sap. The then empty cells give the leaves a bronzed or silvery appearance. Each individual usually completes its entire lifecycle on the same plant, if not the same part of the plant.
Most species have one to two generations per year, but some species have multiple generations. Most overwinter as adults, but some species overwinter as eggs or nymphs. This group has incomplete metamorphosis in that the immature stages resemble the adults, except that the immatures are smaller and do not have wings. However, wing pads appear in the second and third instars and increase in size as the nymph matures. Depending on the species, lace bugs have four or five instars.
Lace bugs sometimes fall out of trees, land on people, and bite, which, although painful, is a minor nuisance. No medical treatment is necessary.
The phylogenetic relationships of the Tingoidea are not well established, with various authors treating the families, and subfamilies, and tribes differently. The phylogeny here follows that of Drake and Ruhoff 1965. While not common in the fossil record, a number of genera and species have been described from both amber and compression fossils, such as Gyaclavator kohlsi from the Eocene Green River formation.
- Gargaphia solani – eggplant lacebug
- Stephanitis takeyai – andromeda lace bug
- †Leptopharsa tacanae - tingid from Mexican amber
- A. Nel, A. Waller & G. de Ploëg (2004). "The oldest fossil Tingidae from the Lowermost Eocene amber of the Paris Basin (Heteroptera: Cimicomorpha: Tongoidea)" (PDF). Geologica Acta. 2 (1): 37–43.
- Drake, C.J. & Ruhoff, F.A., 1965. Lace-bugs of the world: a catalogue. (Hemiptera: Tingidae). Bulletin of the United States National Museum: 243, 1–643.
- Wappler, T.; Guilbert, E.; Labandeira, C.C.; Hörnschemeyer, T.; Wedmann, S. (2015). "Morphological and Behavioral Convergence in Extinct and Extant Bugs: The Systematics and Biology of a New Unusual Fossil Lace Bug from the Eocene". PLOS One. 10 (8): 1–17. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133330. PMC . PMID 26267108.
- Miller, L.T. 2004. Lace Bugs (Hemiptera: Tingidae). In Encyclopedia of Entomology (J.L. Capinera, editor). Vol 2. pp. 1238–1241.
- Froeschner, R.C., 1996. Lace Bug Genera of the World, I: Introduction, Subfamily Canthacaderinae (Heteroptera: Tingidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, No. 574.
- Froeschner, R.C., 2001. Lace Bug Genera of the World, II: Subfamily Tinginae: tribes Litadeini and Ypsotingini (Heteroptera: Tingidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, No. 611.
- Drake, C.J. & Ruhoff, F.A., 1960. Lace-bug genera of the world. (Hemiptera: Tingidae). Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus. 112 (3431): 1–105, 9 pls.
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- Lacebugs of Britain
- lace bugs of southeastern U.S. woody ornamentals
- On the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Featured Creatures website