|Stephanitis takeyai, approx 4mm long (excluding appendages)|
|Stephanitis takeyai, side view showing the pronotal hood and, just behind it a thin longitudinal pronotal keel. The flattening of the body is also clear.|
|Stephanitis takeyai, front view, again showing the pronotal hood.|
Although some North American tree-pest species have been well studied, there is a lack of information about the Tingidae in more general sources. There is a short section including keys in Southwood & Leston (1959) and although Ryan (2012) updated the list in this publication, adding S. takeyai and Corythucha ciliata, identification details were not included. However, S. takeyai is a distinctive species, only likely to be confused with another rhododendron-feeding introduction, S. rhododendri which is broadly similar, but has mainly pale wings with a brown band near the base.
S. rhododendri is covered briefly in Becker (1974), Buczacki & Harris (1981) and similar publications, as well as in Southwood & Leston (1959), while Alford (2011) covers the platanus lacebug C. ciliata, a North American pest of various plane trees first found in Britain in 2006, again via the plant trade. However, there is much to learn about these insects, and it seems likely that more will be accidentally imported, so definitely a group worth keeping an eye out for, including on garden/ornamental plants.
Alford, D.V. (2011). Plant Pests. Collins, London.
Becker, P. (1974). Pests of Ornamental Plants. HMSO, London.
Buczacki, S. & Harris, K. (1981). Guide to the Pests, Diseases and Disorders of Garden Plants. Collins, London.
Halstead, A.J. & Malumphy, C.P. (2003). Outbreak in Britain of Stephanitis takeyai Drake & Mao (Hemiptera: Tingidae), a pest of Pieris japonica. British Journal of Entomology & Natural History 16: 3-6.
Ryan, R. (2012). An addendum to Southwood & Leston's Land and Water Bugs of the British Isles. British Journal of Entomology & Natural History 25: 205-215.
Southwood, T.R.E. & Leston, D. (1959). Land & Water Bugs of the British Isles. Warne, London. [there is a 2005 reprint which is much cheaper, and a CD-ROM version from Pisces Conservation Ltd.]