Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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Subject: Boring insect larvae in SoCal Mimosa tree
Location: Escondido, California
March 22, 2015 4:13 pm
We planted a Mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin, a.k.a. Silk Tree) 6 weeks ago, and it just started budding out during the recent warm weather. Unfortunately, we are also now seeing insect larvae coming out of some of the small branches. Now that we know what to look for, we see dried up wounds in other parts of the tree, presumably from a previous season’s larval activity. The attached photo, showing active larvae, is of a branch about 1/2 inch in diameter. Can you identify this insect, and do you know of any treatment?
We are in Escondido, CA, which is 20 miles north of San Diego and 10 miles inland.
Thanks!
Signature: Joe Rowley

Mealybug Nymphs and Argentine Ant in attendance.

Mealybug Nymphs and Argentine Ant in attendance.

Dear Joe,
These are not wood boring insects.  They are nymphs of plant parasitic Hemipterans, most probably Mealybugs in the family Pseudococcidae.
  You can use BugGuide for comparison.  It appears that is a vile Argentine Ant in attendance.  The invasive, exotic Argentine Ant will move plant parasitic Hemipterans from plant to plant, and they tend to them and protect them.  We believe the plant was damaged, and the wound provided a food source for the nutrient sucking Mealybugs.

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Subject: Bug ID Help
Location: Clearwater Florida
March 20, 2015 8:11 am
This bug was on my shirt after a walk through the park in Florida. He stayed on my shirt until I got home and I was able to lift him off onto a paper towel. After several photos he fly away. Please help me ID.
Signature: Thanks, Eric C.

Oak Treehopper

Oak Treehopper

Dear Eric,
This distinctive insect is an Oak Treehopper,
Platycotis vittata, so we are guessing that the park you were visiting contained Oak Trees.

Oak Treehopper

Oak Treehopper

Thanks so much for the information. Very interesting. Yes we have Live Oak all around us!

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Subject: Moth identification
Location: Krugersdorp, Gauteng, South Africe
March 6, 2015 12:49 am
Hello, I found this moth? in the swimming pool and happily it was still alive. I have never seen anything like it before. I put it in a glass in order to be able to photograph the underneath as well as the wing. It is about 12mm in length. I hope that you can help with identifying it.
Signature: Kathy Stubbs

Moth Bug

Moth Bug

Hi Kathy,
Though it is not a true moth, this Planthopper in the family Eurybrachyidae is commonly called a Moth Bug in South Africa.  We identified it as
Paropioxys jucundus on iSpot.

Moth Bug

Moth Bug

Hello Daniel
Thank you so much for the identification and your quick response in doing so.
The diversity and design of insects is amazing.  Thank you for your website which enables us to put a name to what we find in our gardens.
Regards
Kathy Stubbs

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Subject: mystery pink and white bug
Location: North Shore of Maui, Hawaii
February 28, 2015 11:38 pm
Aloha, I found this little guy on some herb/greens cuttings from the garden. I’m not sure of the exact species he was on… either parsley, kale, or young leaf lettuce. He was in the bottom of my tray when I removed the greens. I took this photo with a 200x usb microscope, but I can’t swear to the magnification as it was kind of cheap. Temps have been in the mid 70’s and on the humid side (70-80%) if that helps.
Signature: Aloha, Greg Hansen

Immature Torpedo Bug

Immature Torpedo Bug

Dear Greg,
This looks like an immature Torpedo Bug,
Siphanta acuta, one of the Flatid Leafhoppers.  You can read more about it on BugGuide where it states:  “native to Australia, adventive elsewhere (New Zealand, Hawaii, S. Africa); established in CA.”

Wow!  That was so fast!  Thank you so much for your help!  I love your website!
Greg Hansen

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Subject: Please don’t be bed bugs…
Location: Seattle
January 25, 2015 3:57 am
As I was cleaning the house this morning, I removed the blankets from the couch in the living room to be washed. When I pulled one of the blankets up, I noticed about 5 tan colored insects sitting on the couch underneath where the blanket had been. I don’t deal well with bugs, so I immediately grabbed my vacuum and sucked each of them up. Then I decided I may as well vacuum the whole house. I moved to the other side of the room and started vacuuming up the pine needles on the carpet from my live Christmas tree… then I noticed the same bugs! Soon I discovered the tree was infested with them. I decided to throw the tree outside to the curb, decorations and all. When I threw the tree down, a swarm of bugs flew out of the tree and away. I finished vacuuming the entire house right after and haven’t been able to find anymore. I managed to take a blurry pic of one. The bugs were around the size of a lady bug with a tan coloration and six legs. The ones I sucked up with th e vacuum didn’t look or act as though they had wings, but the same looking bugs on the tree almost all had wings. In the pic, the bug is crawling across a stereo speaker. The tree was a Norwegian Spruce, if that matters. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Squeam Queen

Bed Bug or Giant Conifer Aphid???

Bed Bug or Giant Conifer Aphid???

Dear Squeam Queen,
Many folks feel squeamish around insects.  Unfortunately, there is not enough detail in your image to make a conclusive identification.  The location where you found this critter would be indicative that they might have been Bed Bugs, but if you are certain the insects on the Christmas Tree are identical, then we can rule out Bed Bugs.  Live Christmas Trees often carry living creatures, and one of the most common insects found on live trees is the Giant Conifer Aphid.  Giant Conifer Aphids often are not noticed until the tree begins to dry out and the Aphids begin to die.  Aphids are found in both winged forms and those that lack wings.  The most puzzling aspect of this for us is how Giant Conifer Aphids would have gotten from the tree to under the blanket on the couch.  Perhaps a pet?

Eeeeeeeek! Pleeeeease not bed bugs…
Yes, I have 2 cats. I was actually cleaning the apartment as part of my routine for dealing with fleas when I noticed the other creepy crawlers.
Never saw them before and haven’t seen them after. I guess if I see another one I’ll just jar it to learn what I’m dealing with. I’m pretty sure what I saw on the tree was the same as what I sucked up on the couch. I can’t be 100% certain though as it’s kind of a blur now… I was pretty terrified.
I was doing some research on my own before contacting you when I learned about Giant Conifer Aphids. The body looks remarkably like what I saw but the color wasn’t quite right and I haven’t been able to find an image of a light tan colored Giant Conifer Aphid… so I’m really unsure and quite honestly a bit panicked. I don’t really know what to do unless I know what I’m dealing with, you know? Hopefully I’ll catch one so I can know for sure. Thank you for helping me, I really appreciate it.

Hi again Squeam Queen,
We are speculating that the cats were interested in your Christmas Tree and that they also sleep on the couch, which explains how the Aphids could have migrated from tree to couch.

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Subject: White African Bug
Location: South Africa
January 24, 2015 11:58 am
A friend of mine was biking through south africa and took a photo of this bug and a second of a whole tree branch covered in them. What is this bug??
Signature: Confused Friends

Immature Moth Bug:  AKA Flattid Planthopper Nymph

Immature Mothbug: AKA Flattid Planthopper Nymph

Hi Confused Friends,
The white insect you want identified is an immature Planthopper, probably a Flattid Planthopper in the family Flatidae based on this image on iSpot.
  Two of your images include orange or yellow winged insects that we are speculating are adult Mothbugs, a South African name for Flattid Planthoppers.  The adults in your images look similar to Phromnia rosea, a species from Madagascar pictured on the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Research Blog.  We suspect your individuals are closely related as both adults and nymphs look similar to the images of Phromnia rosea pictured on Wildscreen Arkive.

Flattid Planthoppers:  Nymph and Adults

Flattid Planthoppers: Nymph and Adults

Flattid Planthoppers:  Nymphs and Adults

Flattid Planthoppers: Nymphs and Adults

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination