Distinct Lace Bug – Corythuca distincta

Distinct Lace Bug: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life

Latin name: Corythucha Distincta

Appearances: 3.5mm x 2mm in size, primarily cream to white, with brownish bands at the wing base and near the apex, a brown spot on the edge, and brown humps in the middle of the elytra; lateral carina ending well short of the hood; small and few spines on paranota and elytra; hood little less than twice the height of the median carina. The majority of lace bugs have transparent or light amber-colored wings. The lace bugs of the genus Leptodictya are longer, oblong, and greenish-grey to light brown in color. The flat, oval bodies of lace bug nymphs are covered in spines that extend outward in all directions.

Host plants: Various willows serve as the main larval hosts, although they also eat apples, cherries, and other plants in the Rosaceae family. Adults eat a wider variety of leaves because they are less fussy about what they eat.

Territory: Since they use willow, wetlands and riparian corridors are likely their original habitat. However, they can live anywhere there are host plants. They were also discovered in Western North America; they probably exist in suitable habitats throughout the region.

Damage insect caused: Azalea lace insect damage typically appears as silvery, white, or yellow dots on the leaves. These azalea insects are the culprits, physically sucking little pieces of the leaf dry and killing that particular piece of the leaf. More and more spots will form as these azalea leaf bugs continue to travel across the leaf. Lace bugs use their long, thin mouthparts to puncture the leaf and suck out the cell contents. White stippling or tiny white patches are the initial signs of feeding damage. Later, these blotches coalesce, and the leaves turn yellow. A leaf falling could be accelerated by severe infestations.

Life cycle and habits: Eggs are laid singly along the veins on the underside of the leaf. The mother covers the eggs with a dark substance before the eggs hatch after about three weeks. The eggs are inserted slightly more than halfway into the leaf through the opening made by the serrated ovipositor. Depending on the weather, overwintering adults typically emerge from diapause in March and remain there through June. After emerging from the larval stage, adults are active from June through September, and they overwinter under cover as adults in diapause, which typically begins by the first week of October.