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Azalea lace bug

 Image of Azalea lace bug

Azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott), belongs to a group of insects in the family Tingidae. The insects in this family generally live and feed on the underside of leaves. Female lace bugs lay groups of eggs on the underside of the leaves in September and October. These eggs overwinter and hatch during March and April.

The smooth, white egg of the lace bug, which measures approximately 0.4 mm by 0.8 mm, is flaskshaped with the neck to one side. It is usually deposited in the underside tissue of a young leaf along the mid-rib or large vein. Each egg is inserted in the tissue with its neck slightly about the leaf surface.

The adult lace bug is 1/8 inch long and 1/16 inch wide. It has lacy wings with brown and black markings and light brown legs and antennae. The young nymph lace bug is nearly colorless at hatching but soon turns black and spiny. It sheds its outer skin six times and ranges in size from 0.4 mm to 1.8 mm before becoming an adult.