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

Subject: Is this a dangerous bug?
Location: Orange County California
June 22, 2016 8:39 pm
Hey there,
You probably won’t remember as it was many years ago but we actually met you at an art conference in Pasadena, I was presenting a paper on beauty for my MFA in photography at SPE and you were in one of the seminars & we got to chatting w/my husband… Anyhow, I’m glad to see you site is still going strong and I actually have a bed related question.
Do you know what the guy in my pictures is? They’ve been living on my stephanotis jasmine forever & now one is visiting my new passiflora lady Margaret. From what I can tell he hasn’t harmed the jasmine at all, just sorta sits there..sheds once in a while but I’ve seen no holes in leaves or dead leaves w/evidence of bug bites or anything, and the flowers bloom happily, etc. is it any risk to Passion flowers? My passiflora Edulis has lived nearby for over a year & I see no bug damage to that plant from him either..
Someone did mention it could be a type of sharpshooter bug which can be dangerous to some plants like grape growers deal with, I do have the edible passionflower and I don’t want to lose that or any of my other plants like orchids, mold, multiple jasmine varieties, tomatoes, and a lemon tree. Is this guy dangerous to any of that? And if so, how do I get rid of it in a natural way? Thanks in advance :) take care
Signature: Ioana

Sharpshooter

Sharpshooter

Hi Ioana,
How nice to hear from you.  That SPE conference on Beauty was many years ago.  This is some species of Leafhopper known as a Sharpshooter, and they are insects with mouths designed to pierce and suck nourishment, and in their case it is nourishment from the young shoots on your plants.  Many Leafhoppers and Treehoppers spread viral or bacterial infections from plant to plant while feeding.  This might be a Glassy Winged Sharpshooter based on this BugGuide image and according to BugGuide, it is “A major vector of Pierce’s disease on grape. Usually not a serious pest within its native range, southeastern US. This species was accidentally introduced into so. California in the early 1990s, probably with ornamental or agricultural stock. There, it has become a serious threat to viticulture.  The biggest problem is that it can spread the disease-causing bacterium
Xylella fastidiosa.”  We would not want to eliminate the possibility that it is a member of another genus of Sharpshooters, like Oncometopia, also pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New bug
Location: Vienna, Va
June 20, 2016 8:21 pm
Hello, yesterday I was walking in the park with my 4 years old daughter, suddenly she said: mommy look it is a fairy , and the weirdest insect step on my hand, it is so difficult to describe. A white fly maybe with feathers.
Please help me figure it out what type of insect is this.
Signature: Sarah A

Woolly Aphid

Woolly Aphid

Dear Sarah A,
This is a Woolly Aphid in the subfamily Eriosomatinae, and according to BugGuide:  “Nearly all members of this subfamily alternate between host plants, generally with a woody primary host (on which overwintering eggs are laid, and on which some species induce galls) and an herbaceous secondary host.”  Aphids are among the insects that do the greatest damage to crop plant and ornamental plants, and they are the bane of many a home gardener.  Comparing the appearance of a Woolly Aphid to a fairy or an angel is quite common.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Flying Insect
Location: Reseda, Ca
June 19, 2016 8:52 pm
Hi, there are flying beetle like bugs that are eating a tree in our backyard. My dad started to notice them this year and doesn’t remember seeing then before. Please help!
Signature: Won Cho

Glassy Winged Sharpshooters

Glassy Winged Sharpshooters

Dear Won Cho,
You have two different insects here, in different orders.  Two of them are Glassy Winged Sharpshooters that feed by sucking fluids from plants, and they do the most damage to new shoots.  According to BugGuide:  “A major vector of Pierce’s disease on grape. Usually not a serious pest within its native range, southeastern US. This species was accidentally introduced into so. California in the early 1990s, probably with ornamental or agricultural stock. There, it has become a serious threat to viticulture.  The biggest problem is that it can spread the disease-causing bacterium Xylella fastidiosa.”  According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management System site:  “The real problem associated with glassy-winged sharpshooter, however, is that it can spread the disease-causing bacterium Xylella fastidiosa from one plant to another. This bacterium is the causal agent of devastating plant diseases such as Pierce’s disease of grape, oleander leaf scorch, almond leaf scorch and mulberry leaf scorch. Other diseases to landscape plants in California include sweet gum dieback and cherry plum leaf scorch. Outside of California, other strains of X. fastidiosa cause phony peach disease, plum leaf scald, leaf scorches in sycamore, elm, maple, and oak,and variegated citrus chlorosis, but these diseases have not been detected in California. It should be noted that the strain of X. fastidiosa that causes oleander leaf scorch will not cause Pierce’s disease in grapes and the strain of X. fastidiosa that causes mulberry leaf scorch does not cause disease in oleanders or grapes. At this time there is no cure for any of these diseases.”  The other insect we can only identify to the family.  It is a Metallic Borer Beetle in the family Buprestidae, and the larvae bore in the wood.  They are generally very host specific.  Telling us what tree is affected may help in further identifications.

Borer Beetle

Borer Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird small insect
Location: San Diego, CA
June 4, 2016 2:56 pm
This is my second time seeing one of these small insects. Both times I have found the bug positioned in the same way on the stem of a plant. The face resembles that of a leafhopper.
Signature: Elijah Otto

Spittlebug

Spittlebug

Dear Elijah,
This is an adult Spittlebug in the genus
Clastoptera, based on images posted to BugGuide.  We believe it looks most like Clastoptera lineatocollis based on this BugGuide image, but we would not rule out that it might be Clastoptera siskiyou based on this BugGuide image.  Spittlebugs are so called because the immature nymphs often feed by sucking on the fluids of plants while excreting a frothy protection that resembles spittle.  According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program site:  “Spittlebugs suck plant juices. Heavy infestations distort plant tissue and slow plant growth. The obvious and occasionally abundant masses of white foam on cones, foliage, or stems may be annoying, but the spittlebugs do not seriously harm established woody plants.”  We will be postdating this submission to go live to our site during our brief absence next week.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bugs in Slime
Location: Delaware Ohio
June 7, 2016 6:33 pm
I would like to know if these little things are harmful or helpful. I’m guessing the first…and if so…how do I get rid of them?! They are in my red twig dogwood shrub, hidden in snotty white slime. Yuck. The close up of the bug is on a weed I pulled and used to dig through the snot. The picture of the bush shows the snot with bugs in it.
Signature: ready2kill

Spittlebug Spittle

Spittlebug Spittle

Dear ready2kill,
These free-living Hemipterans are known as Froghoppers or Spittlebugs.  The immature nymphs secrete a frothy substance that acts as protection while they are feeding by sucking juices from plants, so they are not considered beneficial insects.

Spittlebug

Spittlebug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug on hibiscus
Location: Plant city, fl
May 25, 2016 6:44 am
I saw this bug on a winter hibiscus flower. Please help identify.
Signature: Jackke

Weevil and Aphids

Weevil and Aphids

Dear Jackke,
The larger insect in your image is a Weevil, and there are numerous smaller Aphids visible as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination