Sycamore tree lace bug (Corythucha ciliate Say)(Hemiptera: Tingidae) reaches Africa
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In February 2014 colonies of a large and conspicuous lacebug (Fig. 1A) were collected from the undersides of the leaves of London plane trees (Platanus x acerifolia) in the suburb of Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa. Infected leaves could easily be identified by their characteristic bronzed appearance (Fig. 1B). The lace bugs were subsequently identified as Corythucha ciliata (Say) using keys to North American Corythucha species (Mead 1989) and economically important tingids of the world (Stonedahl et al. 1992). Corythucha species have high host-specificity, whilst C. ciliata is the only lace bug known to feed on Platanus species (sycamores) - this association is thus considered to be diagnostic for the species (CABI 2014). C. ciliata has a broad native range across the eastern parts of North America and Canada, where it is largely monophagous on Platanus (sycamore) trees, with P. occidentalis being its main host. However, it also occurs on Platanus hybrids, and in invasive parts of its range feeds on P. orientalis and P. x acerifolia (the hybrid between P. occidentalis and P. orientalis (CABI 1984).