Species of the Month July 2022

Andromeda Lacebug (Stephanitis takeyai)

 

Andromeda Lacebug is a tiny but beautiful True Bug (Hemiptera) with distinctively marked lacy wings. The species originated in Japan, and has been accidentally introduced across the globe with the first UK record occurring in 1998. It can be considered a pest species by gardeners, feeding on Pieris japonica, Rhododendron and Azalea and some times causing significant foliage damage (further information can be found on the RHS website).

There are several species of Lacebug found in the UK, all extremely small at 2-5mm in length. Andromeda Lacebug is easy to distinguish due to the distinctive x-shaped black markings across the wings. The only potential confusion species is another non-native, Stephanitis rhododendri; however the markings on this are restricted to a single dark brown line.

You can find more information about Andromeda Lacebug on British Bugs and additional photographs, including nymphs, on JungleDragon.

Andromeda Lacebug is probably present throughout gardens and parks in south east Wales, but we only hold c15 records at SEWBReC; you can view the 1km distribution for SEWBReC here and the 10km Wales wide distribution here. The tiny size means they are likely very under recorded, but once spotted they are easy to identify. We are interested to learn if the species is more widespread than current records indicate.

If you spot Andromeda Lacebug during July (or at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via SEWBReCORD or the LERC Wales App. Instructions on how to submit records are available here.