The lace bug, Leptodictya plana Heidemann, was sampled in the field on Pennisetum purpureum Schumach. from May through late October during 2008 and 2009. Highest population levels occurred in late August, which corresponded to the warmest temperatures of the season. Adults overwintered in ground litter/mulch and contributed eggs to as many as 4 overlapping generations in central Georgia, USA. Damage ratings on P. purpureum ornamental grasses averaged 20% for the entire 2008 and 2009 summer seasons, although individual plants expressed injury as high as 90% during midseason. When 2 ornamental grass standards were compared with each other, ‘Princess’ was more heavily damaged than ‘Prince’ during both sampling years. Decreased abundance observed in 2009 may have resulted from an increase in the amount of precipitation at the site. Mean duration of development ranged from 23.3 days at 30°C to 40.5 days at 25°C. Eggs hatched at 20, 25, 30 and 35°C, but not at 10 or 15°C. Complete development (egg to adult) was only successful at 25 and 30°C. The studies in this paper improve our understanding of this previously rare lace bug and suggest its potential as an emerging landscape and nursery pest.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2