Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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Subject: Bug in playground sandpit
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
November 12, 2012 11:15 pm
My daughter and I found this bug in the sand at our local playground (Gold Coast, Australia).
Do you know what it is?
Thank you
Signature: Bruce & Brooke

Snow Ball Large Mealybug

Dear Bruce & Brooke,
This really is an unusual insect.  It sure looks primitive and perhaps it is larval.  We will post it as unidentified and try to do additional research.  Perhaps one of our readers will have a clue as to its identity.

Snow Ball Large Mealy Bug

Update:  November 13, 2012
Thanks to a comment from fiferworks, we now know that this is a Snow Ball Large Mealybug,
Monophlebulus sp., which can be found on the Brisbane Insect Website.  It seems this individual has lost its white cottony coating.  We verified the identification using the Encyclopedia of Life.

Karl supplies a thorough comment.
Hi Daniel, Bruce & Brooke:
Sorry about all the links in this one Daniel, but if all goes well I may be able to help clear up several mysteries, new and old.  I believe this is a Giant Mealybug (a.k.a. Giant Coccid or Ground Pearl) in the family Margorodidae. The genus is probably Monophlebulus and the common name appears to be Snow Ball Giant Mealy Bug or Snow Ball Large Mealybug. I was fairly certain that it had appeared on your site before but it took a while to find it as it had been identified tentatively as a ‘Giant Scale Insect’ (family not given) by Eric Eaton. Margorodids, along with true Scale Insects (Coccidae) and several other similar families all belong to the same Superfamily (Coccoidea) so I suppose they are all Scale Insects of a sort, but it does get a little confusing. It was posted by Kimberly and it appears to be the same as this recent posting. In the response to Kimberly’s post you linked to a previous and similar submission by Ridou Ridou, also tentatively identified as a Giant Scale Insect due to its similarity to Kimberly’s bug. I think this one was a different species of Giant Mealybug in the same genus, Monophlebulus. In one of the comments attached to Ridou Ridou’s post, rhoz identified the family Margorodidae and the genus Monophlebulus, although he spelled it slightly differently and seems to be referring to a bug that sounds more similar to the ones posted by Kimberly and Bruce & Brooke. These bugs are quite mobile as evidenced by this wonderful video I came across. One site that I checked out indicated that males of the genus have wings and can fly, in which case these may be all females. I hope this isn’t too confusing. Regards.  Karl

That’s wonderful, thank you Daniel.
What a great experience!  Within hours of finding a bug and having no idea what it was, we have an answer.   We are very fortunate to have the luxury of the internet and the valuable participation of websites like yours.
We’re now keen to get out there and find more bugs!
Keep up the good work and thanks again.
Bruce and Brooke


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Subject: Bug ID
Location: North Suburban Boston
October 24, 2012 10:57 am
I was in the backyard photographing spiders when I found this colorful creature on a leaf.
9am, 9/23/12, suburban backyard, length is about 3mm.
I only got this one angle on the creature.
Signature: Tom

Candystriped Leafhopper

Dear Tom,
The Candystriped Leafhopper, though it is a lovely insect, is considered a problematic species that can suck fluids from tender plant shoots.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: Fremantle Western Australia
October 8, 2012 9:59 pm
can you please help with the ID of this bug.
It is from the S/W of Western Australia, Spring time.
It is about 10mm long, slow moving.

Horned Treehopper nymph

Hi Rob,
We are very rarely so puzzled by a submission that we cannot pin down an order.  This is undoubtedly a nymph, the immature phase of an insect with incomplete metamorphosis.  We suspect it is likely a Hemipteran, a member of the order with sucking mouthparts that includes True Bugs and Cicadas, but it doesn’t resemble any nymph we have seen before.  The Brisbane Insect website will be a great place to begin searching.  The closest match we can find would indicate it might be a Horned Treehopper nymph in the family Membracidae based on the large photo on family page on the Brisbane Insect Website which is identified as the Acacia Treehopper.  While we don’t believe that is your species, the nymphs pictured on the Brisbane Insect website of the Acacia Treehopper,
Sextius virescens, look quite similar to your specimen.

Treehopper nymph

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the detailed answer, I am very happy with this as I had no idea where to start with this one. Please pass on my thanks to your team.
Robert Keen
Supervisor, Horticulture
Parks and Gardens
Curtin University

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tiny Bugs All over swingset and willow tree
Location: Kalkaska, MI
September 12, 2012 5:43 pm
We recently noticed these tiny black bugs that seem to have an orangish redish color on there legs all over our wooden swingset and also recently discovered them all over our willow tree as well, I have never seen these bugs before and wonder if they cause any harm
Signature: Jessica L.

Giant Willow Aphids

Hi Jessica,
You have Giant Willow Aphids,
Tuberolachnus salignus and we verified the identification on BugGuide.  Aphids are considered significant agricultural pests, especially when they are numerous, but any harm they might cause would be to your willow tree, not to you or your swing set, though we imagine they are a bit of a nuisance on the swing set.

Giant Willow Aphid

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Subject: mass of bugs on downed sycamore
Location: Baltimore, MD
August 20, 2012 11:08 pm
I noticed masses of this bug on a sycamore that had been downed by a recent storm. This part of the tree was leaning, not on the ground. The tree is located in a park in woods near freshwater wetland.
I’ve included one photo with a bee to provide size comparison.
Signature: Martha

Giant Bark Aphids and Yellow Jacket

Hi Martha,
You have submitted photos of Giant Bark Aphids,
Longistigma caryae, and here is what we learned about them on BugGuide:  “This is the largest aphid in North America with adults averaging about 1/4 inch long. They also have long legs which makes them appear even larger. Males and some females are winged but egg laying females are wingless. They are brown with black markings (giving them somewhat of a mottled appearance) and have short, black cornicles. When alive they are often partially covered with a bluish white, waxy secretion.  BugGuide continues:  “Activity usually begins in late April in Oklahoma. An adult female gives birth to live young and a colony is formed on the underside of the branches of the host tree. Several generations occur during the summer and fall. Activity continues into mid-November in some years. Late in the fall females lay eggs in bark crevices or on the smooth bark of smaller limbs. The eggs are yellow when laid but later turn black. They are the overwintering stage.”  Sycamore is listed on BugGuideas a host plant and the complete list of host plants is:  “American elm, pin oak, live oak, post oak, blackjack oak, pecan, hickory, sycamore, and golden rain tree. Other trees which might be infested include maple, basswood, birch, beech, walnut, chestnut, and willow.”  We suspect the felled tree was oozing sap which attracted the Yellow Jacket.

Giant Bark Aphids


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Whats that bug?
Location: Nashville, TN
August 4, 2012 2:22 pm
Mr Bugman,
This lil bug was on my corn. What is it?
Signature: Jen

Broad Headed Sharpshooter

Dear Jen,
This is a Broad Headed Sharpshooter,
Oncometopia orbona, and though BugGuide does not list the plants upon which it is known to feed, if you are finding significant numbers of them on your corn, we expect they might be doing significant damage.  Planthoppers and Sharpshooters with their piercing and sucking mouthparts can initially damage plants because they take valuable fluids from young shoots by feeding on sap, but some species can also spread viruses and other pathogens to the plants they feed upon.

Wow! Thanks for the quick reply. This was the first one ive noticed… Ill be watching for more. Too pretty to hurt :(
Thanks for the help!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination