Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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amazing Bug
Tue, May 12, 2009 at 6:46 AM
Hi, I’ve found this kind of bug at Brasilia/DF (BRAZIL), and I’ve never found this in another place. This insect has +/- 5mm and lives on the fences around the grass.
thks
Rui José
Brasília/DF- BRAZIL

Tree Hopper Nymph with Ant (bicho e formiga)

Tree Hopper Nymph with Ant (bicho e formiga)

Dear Rui José,
This is an immature Homopteran, probably a Tree Hopper in the family Membracidae. They exude a sweet substance known as honeydew which attracts the ants.

Correction: Mon, May 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM
Hi Daniel:
The Membracid nymph from Brazil is in the genus Membracis, probably M. lunata (= foliata). I’m clueless on the ant, Regards.
Karl
Link: http://www.cerambyx.uochb.cz/membracis2.htm

Wow Karl,
The adult on the link you provided is equally as impressive as the nymph.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

hitchhiker on a crane fly
Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:10 AM
I was taking pictures of the moths and bugs surrounding our outside light last night and after enlarging this shot of a crane fly I noticed this little white guy waving from a rear leg while hanging on for dear life. I know crane flies don’t carry their young around so I was wondering what it is. I sent you a larger file so you can enlarge it enough to see the critter.
Larry
Sonoma County, California

Crane Fly with Hitchhiker

Crane Fly with Hitchhiker

Hi Larry,
When we saw your subject line, we thought the hitchhiker must be either a mite or a pseudoscorpion, the two common phoretic organisms that are frequent subjects of our identifications. Phoresy is a nice scientific name for opportunistic hitchhiking. Your creature appears to be an insect, though we are uncertain of its identity, and we wonder if the hitchhiking may have been accidental. We will check with Eric Eaton to see if he has an opinion on this.

Phoretic Insect? or Accidental Hitchhiker???

Update: Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Daniel:
LOL!  I’m sorry, I just had to laugh.  The “hitchhiker” is a shed exoskeleton, most likely from an aphid that might have used the crane fly’s leg as a place to perch while molting.  I laugh out of empathy because I’ve made the same kind of assumption myself, many times, when presented with unfamiliar circumstances.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hong Kong bug
Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 5:24 PM
Hello,
I just took this photo yesterday (April 18) on a roadside tree in Hong Kong. These bugs have been appearing for years, but only on this one specific tree. At times I have seen more than five all within plain sight.
They are about 2 inches long from nose to tail. The can fly, but not well, and they move sideways just as easily as backwards and forwards.
I don’t even know where to start looking them up – they look half moth and half beetle.
Thanks
Guy
Mid Levels, Hong Kong

Longan Chicken, a Lanternfly

Longan Chicken, a Lanternfly

Dear Guy,
This is a Lanternfly, an unusual group of insects in the family Fulgoridae.  When we posted another image of this species from Hong Kong in January 2007, we got this species identification:  “Hi Bugman,
I believe that the lanternfly that Alex found in Hong Kong is Pyrops candelaria. The two most “common” Mandarin common names of this lanternfly , if translated literaly to English, is “white wax cicarda” (because of the white, wax-like powders on its eggs), and “longan chicken” (because it feeds on saps of the longan trees (Dimocarpus longan) as well as other fruit trees such as mango, lichi and olive). Pyrops candelaria is easily seen in Hong Kong and SE Asia. Images can be found here ( http://www.pbase.com/bluetitan/pyropscandelaria ) and here ( http://aestheticarthropoda.blogspot.com/2006/12/pyrops-candelaria.html ). (Unfortunately most of the introduction to this lanternfly is in Mandarin, and the second link is the best English description I can find.) hopefully you find it helpful,  Wei-Ting “  As a side note, we use the compound word Lanternfly, while some websites prefer to split the units and call this insect a Lantern Fly.  That would imply that it is a true fly, which it is not.  We stand firm on the spelling Lanternfly being correct.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

red striped moth or beetle?
Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 2:29 PM
We saw these on our oak tree Easter morning. There are probably about 50 or so on this little branch (the branch is about as big around as a pencil). They look like some type of beetle or moth and are pretty slow moving. None of them flew off and only repositioned themselved when I touched them with a leaf. Do you know what they are?
Angie
Jacksonville, FL

Oak Treehoppers

Oak Treehoppers

Hi Angie,
You have Oak Treehoppers.  Platycotis vittata.  This is a variable species.  Some are striped and some not.  Some have a horn and some do not.  The species, according to BugGuide, does almost no damage to trees, and “Females seem to exhibit protective behavior, keeping predators away from the young. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

White and Red Horned bug
Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 11:48 AM
We live in Jacksonville, Florida, there’s a tree in the back yard, small leaves, and nuts. These small bugs, maybe half an inch long at most, litter the low lying branches. These pictures are of the same group, it’s April now, and they’ve been there for no less than a month, getting bigger, horns growing all the while. They look, if the pictures don’t show it so well, like tiny Cicada, with the addition of the horn atop their heads.
Keegan R. Gilmore
Northern Florida, US (Jacksonville

Oak Treehoppers

Oak Treehoppers

Hi Keegan,
These are Oak Treehoppers, Platycotis vittata. The tree you describe sounds like an oak, though the fruit is generally called an acorn, not a nut. According to BugGuide there are several color variations, and they are described as: “Grayish spotted with yellow, or turquoise with red stripes and red eyes. With or without a thorn-like horn.” BugGuide also indicates: “Hatching occurs in Spring in the South, and in late Spring in the North. Larva pass through five instars, and adults and larva form aggregations along oak twigs of up to 100 individuals. Females seem to exhibit protective behavior, keeping predators away from the young” and that it “Does almost no damage to the host trees—leaves only a few twig scars from oviposition. “  Treehoppers and Cicadas belong to the same superfamily, Cicadoidea, in the insect order Hemiptera, which explains the resemblance you noticed.

Oak Treehoppers

Oak Treehoppers

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black spiny bug killed my tomato plant Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 10:52 PM
Dear bugman,
These black spiny creatures annihilated our tomato plant. Swarmed all over it. We’re kinda lazy gardeners, so we just let them. They also killed the wooden bunny that was resting on the tomato plant. Poor bunny never had a chance.
Josh
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA

Keeled Treehopper Nymphs

Keeled Treehopper Nymphs

Treehoppers
Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 11:11 PM
Woops! I should have googled first. I realize that I just sent you pictures of Keeled Treehoppers. “Black spiny tomato pest” did the trick. Thanks anyway.
Josh
LA

Hi Josh,
We are happy to see you correctly identified your Treehopper nymphs.  We find them to be most troublesome on our tomato plants in the fall and winter.  We have noticed huge colonies of the spiny numphs on the woody stems of our plants in the fall, and we rarely have issues with Treehoppers on our young tomato plants.  This pestiferous species is also a problem with peppers, eggplant and other solanaceous plants.

Update
May 17, 2011
Hi Daniel,
So I’ve had worse infestations, but the treehoppers have definitely moved in on a pair of tomato plants that wintered over.  I’ve been going at them by hand and with hose blasts but I think the soap/oil/hot pepper/garlic attempts are next.
I also advise, with gloves, pulling off any leaves that are dead or yellowing and working to separate the tomato branches which might require additional infrastructure.  These bad guys tend to congregate where leaves overlap and they can vampire the plant without fear of predators.  I am hoping that the work I did to “trellis” the plants this evening will make for easier hunting.  I did snap off a few branches accidentally, but I can live with that.
I have another suggestion as well:
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2007/03/02/immature-keel-backed-treehopper/
Great pic.  I think you should also post a pic of a ladybug nymph on the same page… someone in their first season growing, after seeing the pic above, is unlikely to know they’re looking at a ladybug, which might be on the same plant.  Compare the keel-backed nymph on your site to:
http://www.pbase.com/image/97913123
I’m sure you have some ladybug nymph pics to pull from too, but thought this one really makes the case.  It suggests an evolutionary disguise on the treehopper’s part.
Cheers,
David Wolfberg

Thanks for the idea David.  We imagine many of our readers might confuse the larvae of the Lady Beetle with the noxious Keeled Treehopper Nymphs that proliferate on tomatoes and related plants, especially during the winter months.  We find that they are most plentiful on plants that we allow to continue to grow through the winter, and we never have such problems on new seedling tomato plants.  We are placing your comment on this posting since you don’t have a photo to accompany your comment.
http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/04/05/keeled-treehopper-nymphs/

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination