Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s the insect that came as a bonus with my Christmas Tree?
Location: Austin, Texas
February 1, 2016 2:41 pm
Hello there,
For the second time in my life I have managed to purchase a live Christmas tree that weeks later developed an insect issue. This time the insect is different than the first. In my Google search to determine what it was this year, I came across your site and another individual’s issue with a Christmas tree pest–which for them turned out to be the Giant Conifer Aphid.
Thanks to their picture and your site I now know what my insect was the first time. Now I’m wondering what this new one is. The aphids never left the tree and I didn’t notice them until I was taking it down. Those were also on a different type of tree for me–a Fraser Fir.
This year I bought a rare type of tree–a Natural Noble. While Noble Firs are common enough for purchasing, Natural Nobles are not–at least not where I live. It’s a beautiful and expensive tree that I discovered at a particular local nursery in Austin, Texas. I’d never seen one available before at a Christmas tree stand or a nursery. This is now the 3rd year I’ve bought this type of tree but the first time it has come with bugs.
The other night (4-5 weeks after purchasing the tree) I noticed what I thought was a large mosquito in my kitchen. Then I noticed a second one. Then the lightbulb went off in my mind to go look at the trunk of the tree as this time of year there aren’t mosquitos. Yep, sure enough there were insects parading up and down the trunk, in different sizes. They were fast movers. While the image may make them appear large they really aren’t. Like I said, they look about like a giant mosquito.
They are winged, or at least many of them were, but I never saw them flying. They were either dead under the tree or dead in another room. The ones on the trunk were very active but not flying. I don’t think those had wings or were so juvenile they couldn’t be seen yet. Overall they’re pretty fragile and when you touch a dead one its legs cling to the skin.
I looked online quite a bit for insects that come in with Christmas trees but couldn’t find anything that looked like this or that had wings. Any idea what this is?
Signature: Michele (Austin, Tx)

Giant Conifer Aphids

Giant Conifer Aphids

Hi Michele,
A living Christmas Tree is host to many creatures that continue to develop in the warm indoor conditions of the heated home.  For the past few years, we have gotten submissions of Giant Conifer Aphids in the genus
Cinara plaguing homemakers.  Your image depicts winged adult Giant conifer Aphids similar to the one in this BugGuide image.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for the positive identification and your very timely response. I’m so sorry that I didn’t offer you more of a challenge. You get emailed about these bugs a lot and I was convinced they were something other than the Giant Conifer Aphid. These winged adults look so different in size and shape from what I experienced the first time.
Nonetheless, thank you again for taking the time to respond to me. I’ve had a lot of fun perusing your website.
-Michele

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: There are so many things happening here
Location: San Marco de los Santos, Costa Rica
January 31, 2016 9:55 pm
Hello! I was walking through the chilly mountain region of Los Santos, Costa Rica, and almost walked straight into this bug party happening on a branch of a tree in a city park.
I can identify the wasp, and up near the top there seems to a Blue Morpho cocoon, but what’s attacking the Morpho? And what are those robotic looking white guys? And the bright yellow guys?
The wasp wasn’t going anywhere, either. He looked almost as is he were chaperoning the bug party, and had no intention of flying off.
Signature: Abby

Treehoppers, Membracis mexicana, Adults and Nymphs

Treehoppers, Membracis mexicana, Adults and Nymphs

Dear Abby,
The insects in question, both the “robotic looking white guys” and the “bright yellow guys” are Treehoppers, and they are the same species.  The yellow individuals are the winged adults and the white individuals are the immature nymphs.  We identified the species as
 Membracis mexicana on FlickR.  We verified that ID on Arthropoda Mexicana where there are images of both nymphs and adults.  Encyclopedia of Life also has images of the adults.  We believe that you have mistaken a bud or pod on the plant for a Blue Morpho chrysalis, which is understandable because this image from pBase resembles what is on the plant.  The bud or pod is infested with Aphids.  We will also try to eventually provide a species of family identity of the wasp.

Treehoppers, Wasp and Aphids

Treehoppers, Wasp and Aphids

Thanks so much! :)
Looking again, a morpho cocoon wouldn’t hang like that, you’re right! I jumped to that since they’re so common here.
I’m going too look into the treehoppers a bit.
Thanks for the info!
Abby

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
January 29, 2016 3:06 pm
Hi.
I was wondering if you could identify this little critter for me.
Photographed at the site of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an China in September. Approximately 3cm long, although it appears to have wings, it did not seem inclined to fly despite a prod.
Thanks
Signature: Graham Williams

Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly

Dear Graham,
We have always used the common name White Cicada for this Fulgorid Planthopper,
Lycorma delicatula, but in researching this posting, we have learned on BugGuide that it was first reported as an invasive species in Pennsylvania in 2014 and that it is commonly called a Spotted Lanternfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug
Location: Ecuador
January 20, 2016 2:26 am
Hi,
I found this bug in Ecuador a few years ago, and I just can’t seem to identify it! I’d really appreciate the help.
Thanks!
Signature: Aimee

Leafhopper

Leafhopper in the genus Aetalion

Dear Aimee,
This is some free-living Hemipteran, probably a Leafhopper, but we have not had any success finding a matching image online.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.

Karl provides and ID:  genus
Re: Leafhopper from Ecuador – January 20, 2016
Hi Daniel and Aimee:
It’s a wonderful photo of an Aetalionid Treehopper. The species is probably Aetalion reticulatum (Aetalionidae: Aetalioninae: Aetalionini).
Regards.  Karl
https://myrockytop.smugmug.com/FaunaandFlora

Thanks Karl,
We received a similar ID in a comment.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Christmas Tree Bugs
Location: Fairfax, VA (but don’t know where tree came from)
January 16, 2016 8:29 am
Dear bugman,
Our Christmas tree began dropping sap onto the ground in several locations. We thought it was because it may have been shaped recently, but upon closer inspection found hundreds of these bugs underneath the ends of the branches. They are gray with dark gray spots. They don’t move quickly, nor seem to fly. They seem to be clustering together, feeding on the tree. Do you know what family of bugs we’ve invited into our home for the holidays?
Signature: Sincerely, Buggin Out

Giant Conifer Aphids

Giant Conifer Aphids

Dear Buggin Out,
You have Giant Conifer Aphids, a common occurrence on commercially grown Christmas Trees.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Little teardrop shaped beetles?
Location: Baltimore, MD
January 10, 2016 4:59 pm
Hello.
I found three of these tiny critters crawling around on my floor today.
I am in Baltimore, Maryland. Never seen anything like them before, but three at once seemed like a potential problem. Thoughts?
Signature: -Paul

Giant Conifer Aphid

Giant Conifer Aphid

Dear Paul,
The most common way for Giant Conifer Aphids to enter the home is on the live Christmas Tree.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination