Brief Summary

Lacebugs (Hemiptera, Heteroptera, Tingidae)

This is a group of small exclusively phytophagous insects (medium size of 5 mm) which have a lace-like dorsal appearence. There are about 2200 species and they occur in all ocean islands and continents, with the exception of Antarctica. This family has three subfamilies, Tinginae, Cantacaderinae and Vianaidinae. The Vianaidinae subfamily status was the topic of a recent phylogenetic discussion. In some species, there is maternal care.

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Not usually associated wit hthe maritime zone but Agramma laeta (Faller) often occurs on saltmarshes.
  • Hayward, P.J.; Ryland, J.S. (Ed.). (1990). The marine fauna of the British Isles and North-West Europe: 1. Introduction and protozoans to arthropods. Clarendon Press: Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-857356-1. 627 pp.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species


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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:912
Specimens with Sequences:669
Specimens with Barcodes:570
Species With Barcodes:71
Public Records:239
Public Species:38
Public BINs:33
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Barcode data

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Adult specimen of a small (ca. 2 mm) species of lace bug on Lavandula near Cape Town in South Africa. Left, dorsal view; right, lateral view, showing proboscis and dorsal protuberances.

Tingidae is a family of very small (2–10 millimetres or 0.08–0.39 inch) 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 forewings of the adult have a delicate and intricate network of divided areas that resemble lace. Their body appearance is flattened dorso-ventrally 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 life cycle 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 instar and increase in size as the nymph matures. Depending on the species, lace bugs have four (few) or five (most) 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.[1]


The phylogenetic relationships of Tingoidea are not well established, with various authors treating the families, and subfamilies, and tribes differently.[2] The phylogeny here follows that of Drake and Ruhoff 1965.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/bitingbugs.shtml
  2. ^ A. Nel, A. Waller & G. de Ploëg (2004). "The oldest fossil Tingidae from the Lowermost Eocene amber of the Paris Basin (Heteroptera: Cimicomorpha: Tongoidea)". Geologica Acta 2 (1): 37–43. 
  3. ^ 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.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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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