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This species is a fairly recent arrival in the UK and was first recorded in 1998. It is native to Japan, where it feeds on Pieris japponica and has been introduced into the USA and Europe via the plant trade. As well as Pieris, it also uses Rhododendron and azaleas as hostplants and is regarded as a pest in ornamental gardens.
Another introduced species, S. rhododendri also feeds on Rhododendron and is found locally in southern England. This species is similar in size and shape, but has mainly pale wings with a narrow brownish band near the base.
Found in south-east England and perhaps more widely, there are several generations per year, the bug overwintering as eggs.
Adult: June-November at least
Length ~4.0 mm
north London (July 2008) ©Tristan
London (July 2008) ©Tristan Bantock