No it is not Mars Attacks with Jack Nicholson, but has to be one of the smallest bugs I have ever seen. At 3 to 4mm (0.1 to 0.2in) long, I found three of them on my green wheely bin. I had to do some reasearch to identify what they were. I would never have been able to have seen the odd head structure, which looks like an inside out brain, with the naked eye.
I learned that this lacebug came over from Japan in 1998 via the plant trade, and has gradually being spreading.
What drew my attention to them originally was their wings. How they looked to me like church stained glass windows, especially when they caught the light. I thought, how pretty is that?
They feed on Forest Flame (Pieris japonica), which I have growing in the garden. I had trimmed the shrub, and placed the cuttings in the bin for green waste recycling, and these little critters had found a way out. I wondered why the shrub wasn’t looking so good. These insects suck the sap from the plant and can make it sickly. They can also attack Rhododendron. Who would have thought these tiny little wonders could cause so much harm. Although my shrub is suffering, I find these bugs quite extraordinary and fascinating, even beautiful, in a curious way.
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Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.