Living With Lace Bugs

Lace bugs are tiny (less than 1 cm), cryptic insects that live on the undersides of leaves. Lace bugs probe leaves with their sucking mouthparts and excrete a sticky honeydew. Typically, we notice the stippling damage visible on the upper side of a leaf or the sticky droplets on our windshield if we park under a lace bug infested tree.

The lace bugs are named for the “lace-like” appearance of the wings. Some parts of the wing are are not pigmented and the clear membrane produces a “lace”appearance. The clear parts of the wing allow an observer to see through the insect to the leaf below. This disrupts the outline of the insect and camouflages the insect.

Lace Bug

Lace Bug

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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