Description and Biology
The ash lace bug, Leptoypha costata, is an oval, small, mottled brown insect with surface of the wings divided into tiny cells. The thorax is closely covered with tiny pits. The antenna are as large in diameter as the legs. Ash lace bug eggs take 9 or 10 days to hatch and the nymphs take about 25 days to mature. The nymphs are sometimes parasitized by tiny midge maggots. The ash lace bug overwinters as adults in sheltered areas. Appropriately enough, the ash lace bug feeds on ash, a member of the olive plant family. A related species, Leptoypha hospita feeds on Chinese privet (also in the olive family). Female Leptoypha hospita lay about 240 eggs each and continue laying until death about 75 days later. The ash lace bug probably has a similar capability. The ash lace bug has three generations per year in Missouri and is likely to have the same number here in North Carolina.
Ash is the usual host for the ash lace bug, but it has also been collected from witch hazel.
A parasitic midge in the genus Endopsylla has been reared from a mature ash lace bug nymph. Perhaps that and other parasites and diseases explain why this species is not noticed more. It is not likely that ash lace bug populations have been sprayed with insecticides to the point that they have developed resistance. Any of the insecticides labeled for landscape use available in nurseries and big box store garden centers should give more than adequate control.
- Biology of Leptoypha hospita (Hemiptera: Tingidae), a Potential Biological Control Agent of Chinese Privet. Yanzhuo Zhang, Y. et al. 2011. Annals Ent. Soc. of Amer. 104(6):1327-1333.
- Immature Stages and Biology of Atheas austroriparius and Leptoypha costata (Hemiptera: Tingidae). Sheeley, R. D. and T. R. Yonke. 1977. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer.
- Corrections and Additions to an Article on Leptoypha and Leptostyla (Heteropera: Tingidae). McAtee, W. L. 1919.Buell. Brooklyn Ent. Soc. 14: 142-144.
- Heteroptera or True Bugs of Eastern North America. Blatchley, W. S. 1926. The Nature Publishing Company, Indianopolis. 1116 pp. (Leptoypha costata on pp. 498 & 499)
- The Lace Bugs (Hemiptera: Tingidae) of North Carolina and Their Hosts. Horn, K. F. et al. 1979. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Tech. Bul. No. 257. 22 pp.
- Extension Plant Pathology Publications and Factsheets
- Horticultural Science Publications
- North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual
For assistance with a specific problem, contact your local Cooperative Extension Center
This Factsheet has not been peer reviewed.
Publication date: March 22, 2019
Revised: Aug. 29, 2019
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