Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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Mutated Flying Insect ?
Location: On a small forest hill in the middle of Kota Kinabalu city, Sabah, Malaysia.
April 6, 2012 8:34 am
Hi Mr. Bugman,
I have found a strange looking insect which baffles me and my friends.
We do not even know what insect order it is from.
It looks like a mutated insect.
Description: 7mm length, Red body, black wings, black legs, black hairy antennae, black popped out eyes, back of thorax black, front of thorax contains 2 yellow bumps, white powder on thorax, several hairy long ”structures” at the end of it’s abdomen. The insect can hover high and well too. Other findings from the net –
Signature: Xing

Male Scale Insect from Malaysia

Dear Xing,
This really is a mystery.  Prior to enlarging your images, we thought it most resembled a wasp mimic moth in the family Sesiidae, but we immediately rejected that upon viewing the larger images.  Thanks so much for providing the Project Noah link and the dialog there is fascinating.  We are not convinced that this is a Planthopper, though it does share some characteristics with Planthoppers.  We wish your side angle photo had a good view of the mouthparts, as that would help to eliminate many possibilities.  This insect seems to possess characteristics that would place it in certain orders, however, it also has characteristics that would tend to eliminate those orders.  The antennae are similar to some beetles, in particular the Glowworms, but the projections at the end of the abdomen are decidedly not beetle-like.  We are going to contact Eric Eaton to see if he can provide any suggestions.  If we were to hazard a single guess on a quiz show, we would have to go with the order Megaloptera which contains Alderflies, Dobsonflies and Fishflies.

Male Scale Insect from Malaysia

Perhaps our readers will provide some possible identifications.

Male Scale Insect from Malaysia

Eric Eaton provides an identification.
This is a male scale insect.  I know!  It is positively enormous considering the size of most male scales, but that is what it is.  Thanks for sharing the amazing images.
Someone at “scalenet” might recognize this one immediately.

Thanks much Eric.

Sure.  Margarodidae may be the family.



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What is my egg?
Location: Redding, CA (Far Northern Calif)
April 2, 2012 9:42 am
These eggs were laid on my pansies in Redding, CA. I found them on 3/31/12. As you can see by my picture, there are 3 leaves with eggs and 1 with bugs (maybe aphids?)
Signature: Jan

Pansy Seed Pod with Aphids

Dear Jan,
We got a chuckle thanks to your letter.  The eggs in question are actually Pansy Seeds.  When they are ready to disperse, the pod pops open.  It does appear that you have Aphids, but they are unrelated to the seeds.

Aphids with Pansy Seeds

Thanks for the quick response! Silly me

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Some kind of Cicada?
Location: Carlingford (western sydney), Australia
March 18, 2012 8:49 pm
While out photographing some bugs in my backyard, i stumbled onto this guy sitting on one of my window sills, i have no idea what he is. Looks a little bit like a cicada, but quite a bit smaller (probably 1/3 the size?). I didnt get many photos of him before he jumped, and i didnt see where he went after that.
Signature: Paul J R


Dear Paul,
The reason this Leafhopper reminds you of a Cicada is that they are in the same insect order, Hemiptera.  We have not been able to find a matching image for your individual, however, it reminds us of the Gum Tree Hoppers in the subfamily Eurymelinae that are pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.

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Please Identify
Location: San Diego, CA
March 2, 2012 2:01 pm
Hello bugman. Will you kindly tell me what to call this little thing? He is here in San Diego, CA on my butterfly bush. He is very small but very brightly colored. His little yellow legs are so very pretty.
Signature: Thank you, Teddi

Blue-Green Sharpshooter

Dear Teddi,
Your insect is one of the Leafhoppers known as Sharpshooters.  We have identified your individual as a Blue-Green Sharpshooter,
Hordnia atropunctata, thanks to the comprehensive archive on BugGuide which states:  “vector of Pierce’s disease of grape in coastal CA.”  Because Leafhoppers have sucking mouthparts, they are capable of spreading plant viruses from plant to plant. 

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Strange Insect
Location: Singapore
March 4, 2012 4:12 am
Hello there,
i was wondering if you could help me identify this cute little insect, it almost looked like a moth, but the wings were placed oddly. the whole insect was a light purple blue, sorry if the photo is a bad.
Signature: Cassia


Hi Cassia,
This is a Planthopper, and we did find several matching photos online, including this image on the Beauty of Fauna and Flora in Nature website, but we were unable to identify the species.  We suspect it is in the family Flatidae.

thank you so much for the reply!
I have done some research on them, but I am still wondering if there is a difference between planthoppers and leafhoppers?

They are in the same Hemipteran suborder Auchenorrhyncha, the Free Living Hemipterans, but they are in different superfamilies.  See BugGuide for a taxonomic breakdown.

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small orange bug
Location: Southern California
February 22, 2012 11:41 am
This guy came off a citrus tree in Southern California and is about 1mm in length. Other specimens from the same tree were greenish brown in color covered with a soot much like a mealy bug. I have this one under a microscope with shots top and bottom.
Signature: R. Japp

Unknown Citrus Bug

Dear R. Japp,
While we do not at this time know what this orange bug is that you found on your citrus tree, we don’t believe it to be a beneficial insect.  We will take a bit more time to research this identification.

Unknown Citrus Bug

Karl poses a possible identification
Hi Daniel and R. Japp:
I am treading into unfamiliar territory here, but to me this looks a lot like an early instar Cottony Cushion Scale (Icerya purchasi). If that is the correct identification, it is considered a serious pest of citrus crops so there is a fair amount of information available on the internet. For example, you could check out this publication from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture, or this one from the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Here is a link to another set of photos that look quite similar. Although the topside colors are a little darker in this set, the black legs and antennae are apparently a key diagnostic feature for the species. The origin of this insect seems uncertain, possibly Australia, but it has now become global, living wherever citrus crops are grown. Regards. Karl


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination