Familia Tingidae Laporte, 1832

Family TINGIDAE Laporte, 1832 - lacebugs

J. Péricart & V.B. Golub

The family includes some 270 genera and more than 2,000 species, distributed worldwide except extreme polar climates. Remarkable in adult stage, as suggested by their common names, by the delicate network of veins and cells forming the tegument of hemelytra, and covering often partly the pronotum and some areas of the underside; this network bears sometimes extravagant ornamentations like bulges, ampullae and conchates. Head without ocelli, but bearing frequently on its upper side 2 to 10 tubercles or fingerlike appendices; antennae four-segmented; tarsi with two articles. Male external genitalia symmetrical, with two claspers; female ovipositors well developed. Larvae rather different from adults, often bearing on their pronotum and abdomen several lines of tubercles, which sometimes are very long, and several kinds of hairs and setae; development in five instars. Little sized: 1,5 to 4 mm in most cases, extreme to 8 mm.

Adults and larvae of Tingidae are strictly phytophagous, feeding on the sap of soft stems, leaves and reproductive organs of herbaceous vegetals or trees; in rare cases (Copium, Paracopium) the larvae live in galls in the tissue of their host. Plant specificity is usually strong at level of botanical families, genera, or even species; semi-gregarism is observed mainly at first larval instars. Hibernation in temperate climates can occur as adults or eggs, sometimes as last stage larvas. Eggs are, as a rule, deeply inserted in some soft parts of host-plants.

A few species are agricultural pests, for instance in the Palaearctic Region Stephanitis pyri and Monosteira unicostata. Others, as Teleonomia scrupulosa, are used as means of control of some introduced weeds in the Tropics and some Pacific countries.

World catalogues: Lethierry & Severin, 1896 (outdated); Drake & Ruhoff, 1965; Palaearctic catalogue: Péricart & Golub, 1996; North-American catalogue: Henry & Froeschner, 1988. Classification: Drake & Davis, 1960. Monographs: Palaearctic - Horváth, 1906a (outdated); West Palaearctic - Péricart, 1983. Faunistic works: Europe - Stichel, 1960; British Isles - Southwood & Leston, 1959; former European Soviet Union - Kiritshenko, 1951a; Ukraine - V.G. Putshkov, 1974; Far East Russia - Golub, 1988; China - Jing, 1981a; Japan - Takeya, 1962, 1963.

Note: The authors fully agree with the higher classification proposed by Drake & Davis, 1960, but not with the one used later by Drake & Ruhoff in their Catalogue (1965); more precisely they do not recognize any value to the tribe Ypsotingini (see Péricart, 1983: 53-54). So, here the subfamily Tinginae is not subdivided into tribes.