chapter  4
54 Pages

Lace Bugs (Tingidae)

Lace bugs, or Tingidae, are plant feeders that live mostly on the abaxial (lower) surface of the leaves of their hosts (Drake and Ruhoff 1965, Buntin et al. 1996) and stylet-feed to remove plant sap from palisade parenchyma tissue (Ishihara and Kawai 1981). The common name, “lace bug,” comes from the thin outgrowths of the pronotum and the texture of the forewings, which appear lacy. These bugs are called




in German,




in Dutch, and

chinches de encaja

in Spanish. The vernacular names in French include that of the host plant, such as

le tigre du poirier


le tigre du cerisier

, and

le tigre du cafféier

(Drake and Ruhoff 1965). The family is widely distributed throughout the tropical and temperate zones of all continents and on most oceanic islands (Drake and Ruhoff 1965). Tingidae contains approximately 250 genera and 2000 described species (Stonedahl et al. 1992). Drake and Davis (1960) provided an excellent discussion of adult morphology, phylogeny, and higher classification. Péricart (1982) summarized the systematic position, morphology, and biology of the family. Development usually requires five instars; however, four have been reported for

Stephanitis rhododendri


Tanybryrsa cumberi

Drake ( and Davidová-Vilimová 1989), and

Oncochila simplex

(Herrich-Schaeffer) (Percora et al. 1992). The proper spelling of the familial name was controversial among hemipterists for over a

century. Other spellings of Tingidae (Tingididae and Tingitidae) were criticized by Parshley (1922a,b) and a decision by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature upheld the use of Tingidae (Hemming 1943).