Monday, June 25, 2012

Sycamore lacebug
sycamore lacebug on plate
Figure 5 Sycamore lacebug adult
Sycamore lacebug (Corythucha ciliata) (figure 5) have been found feeding on American
sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). Lacebugs are a common pest of ornamental trees and shrubs, and most lacebug species are host specific. An exception is the hawthorn lacebug (C.cydoniae) that attacks several species within the Rosaceae family including cotoneaster, flowering quince, crabapple, mountain ash,Pyracantha, and hawthorn. Most lacebug species have two or more generations per year. The hawthorn lacebugs have only one generation per year.
The sycamore lacebug overwinters as an adult under loose bark of its host and becomes active in early spring as leaves begin to develop. Soon afterwards, the female lays eggs on the undersides of leaves. Eggs hatch within a few days and spiny, wingless, black nymphs begin feeding. Within 4 to 6 weeks the nymphs pupate, and the next generation of adults emerge (this is the generation we are now seeing). Adults are 3 to 6 mm long (1/8 to 1/4 inch) with lacy wings.
Sycamore lacebug adults and nymphs live on the lower surfaces of leaves and feed on leaf sap causing yellow and white stippling on the upper leaf surface. As the insects feed, they deposit a brown varnish-like excrement on the underside of leaves. Heavy infestations may lead to complete stippling of the leaf and premature leaf drop.
Management: There are several naturally occurring predators including green lacewings, mites, and assassin bugs. A forceful spray of water will dislodge newly hatched nymphs, and they will often die before they find their way back to suitable leaves. Plant site selection is also important as lace bugs prefer bright, sunny locations. Insecticides generally are not necessary except for severe infestations. Avoid using insecticides if natural predators are present.
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