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

Green lacewing larva eating an aphid
Location: Naperville, IL
May 9, 2012 8:02 pm
Hi Daniel~
It’s bug season once more! I have lacewing eggs all over my 2-foot-tall milkweed, and the little aphid lions are busily eating their preferred prey. Here are a few shots from today of one that was moving pretty quickly, all the while sucking its victim dry. I am not sure of the identity of the critter under the larva’s front left leg in the first photo.
All the best,
-Dori
Signature: -Dori Eldridge

Green Lacewing Larva eats Aphid

Dear Dori,
We are happy warm weather has hit Illinois because we always love getting your submissions.  We couldn’t decide which of your three photos was the best documentation of this predation, so we are posting one where the Green Lacewing Larva’s formidable mandibles can be clearly seen and another where the Aphid is clearly visible.  Meanwhile, we need to go outside and remove Milkweed Aphids from our native milkweed.  The proliferation of oleander in Los Angeles sustains the Aphids when milkweed is not available.

Green Lacewing Larva eats Aphid

Thanks so much, Daniel.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your site and your insight.  By the way, how do you remove your problem aphids?  On my hibiscus trees, I just use the garden sprayer set a notch or two below power wash.  But on the milkweed plants, where I have to be selective, I actually remove those orange oleander aphids by hand with a damp rag.  If I ignore the aphids too long, my plants become overrun by ants – not a good thing when trying to raise Monarchs.  I’ve collected nearly 100 Monarch eggs in the last 24 hours!  Have a lovely evening, and happy spring!

The plants are young native Narrow-Leafed Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis, and there are no caterpillars at this point, so I sprayed the Aphids with a water bottle that had a small quantity of liquid dish soap.  The Argentine Ants move the Aphids about and that invasive exotic ant species is a huge problem here in Southern California.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A Child’s Question
Location: Falls Church, VA (Northern Virginia)
May 3, 2012 8:26 pm
A child at my school asked me what this was today and I figured I’d best ask you!
Signature: Nicole

Treehopper

Hi Nicole,
First off we want to compliment on this beautiful saturated color photograph of a Oak Treehopper, Platycotis vittata, which we identified on BugGuide where it is described as:  “Grayish spotted with yellow, or turquoise with red stripes and red eyes. With or without a thorn-like horn.  This species may be easily distinguished from all our other species of membracids (except Umbonia and Lephopelta) by its very short posterior tarsi. It usually has a long compressed pronotal horn which varies greatly in length and may be entirely absent. The wing venation shows considerable variation. Green body color, mottled or speckled with orange. (Dozier 1920)”.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful Red and Blue Coloured Cicada
Location: Costa Rica
April 28, 2012 12:32 pm
Dear Bugman,
I encountered this beautiful Cicada last week in Costa Rica, however, I cannot find any information or pictures of it on the internet. Could you tell me which species it is? Thanks in advance. Kind regards, Sjoerd Biesmans
Signature: ?

Treehopper

Dear Sjoerd,
We do not recognize this insect and we have not had any luck in our initial search of the internet with regards to identifying it.  While it is Cicada-like, we are not totally convinced it is a true Cicada.  It might be some other Free-Living Hemipteran in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha that also included Treehoppers as well as Cicadas, and we have our suspicions that this might be some species of Treehopper in the family Fulgoridae.  See BugGuidefor some North American representatives of the family Fulgoridae.  There is something about the front legs and eyes that makes us doubt that this is a Cicada. 
Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification.

Not Cicada, rather a Treehopper

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for your response. I’ve been looking around a bit more also to find out exactly what kind of unusually beautiful cicada-like bug this is.
The closest I’ve come so far is that it is most likely a plant or tree hopper indeed, probably a Scaralis spp.  Yet I’m not sure which one.
What are your thoughts on this? Thanks for the effort.
Kind regards.
Sjoerd Biesmans

Treehopper

 Thanks to your research, we believe we may have identified your Treehopper as Scaralis neotropicalis on Encyclopedia of Life.  It is one of the Fulgorid Treehoppers based on information on the AnimalBase website.

Hi Daniel,
I’ve looked at neotropicalis also and though it looks very similar, it seems to be lacking the blue on the abdomen and the blue/white vein like structures in the wings.
I think it is Scaralis for sure, but I’m not sure if it is neotropicalis. On the other hand, in this illustration:
http://scientificillustration.tumblr.com/post/17936839305/tab-5-laternaria-1-species-poblicia-2
the one looking most like my picture would indeed be Domitia (thus Scaralis) neotropicalis, but the one in the picture on encyclopedia of life seems more like a Domitia miscella..
Complicated… Seems like some of the webpages might have their facts wrong…
Thanks again, kind regards.
Sjoerd Biesmans

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bugs on my Male Cotttonwood???
Location: Denver, CO
April 25, 2012 8:32 pm
I noticed these bugs in groups on my Male Cottonwood and have no clue what they are, perhaps you can help. If i need to apply pesticide before they kill my tree, i’ll need to act quick.
Thanks!! :)
Signature: Cottonwood guy

Possibly Reddish Brown Willow Bark Aphids

Dear Cottonwood guy,
These are Aphids and we believe they might be in the genus
Pterocomma based on some of the photos posted to BugGuide.  There are only two species and the photos on the species pages do not resemble your Aphids.  Only the photos on the more generic page look like your Aphids, however, one of the species, Pterocomma bicolor, is commonly called the Reddish Brown Willow Bark Aphid on bugGuide.  Willow and Cottonwood are related and many insects that feed on one will accept the other as food as well.  Also though the one photo identified on BugGuide as Pterocomma bicolor does not look like your Aphids, the binomial name indicates two colors and that is consistent with the black and orange coloration of your specimens.  The winged Aphids are sexually reproductive adults that will mate.  Aphids are capable of parthenogenic reproduction and a female can create genetic clones of herself without a mate, which is why Aphids are able to reproduce so quickly.  We do not offer extermination advice, but in an effort to prevent you from spraying harmful pesticides that may kill beneficial insects as well as the Aphids, we would urge you to spray the colony with soapy water, an effective means of eradication that does not harm the environment as much as pesticides will.

Possibly Reddish Brown Willow Bark Aphids

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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 – http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/10235360
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.
Daniel:
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.
Eric

Thanks much Eric.
Daniel

Sure.  Margarodidae may be the family.
Eric

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination