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

Black bug orange legs
Location: Bisley, Glos
May 16, 2011 12:44 pm
100,000s of these on my chicken shed all over the place have been there for a couple of weeks wandering around not sure what they are doing or where they have come from have got a common xmas tree next to it have they hatched in it? what do I do with them the chickens don’t like them and have stopped laying
Signature: olivia

Aphids and a Mystery

Dear Olivia,
In our haste to respond to as many identification requests as possible so that we can get back to formatting the powerpoint presentation we are giving at the Theodore Payne Foundation in two weeks, we are firing off single word identifications.  We continued to read your letter as we hit send and we halted at the comment you made about the chickens having stopped laying.  Since Daniel had a bad experience with chickens last year and he plans to get three more hens in mid June, your comment seemed to warrant further exploration.  These are Aphids, and the presence of the conifer tree nearby might indicate that they are Giant Conifer Aphids in the genus
Cinara, but your photos are not that sharp and accurate species identification might not be possible.  It is intriguing to us that chickens, which are known to love insects, are shunning these Aphids.  We don’t have an answer, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide insight.  We wonder if the appearance of the Aphids might be related to the egg laying moratorium.  Again, we don’t know, so we pose this as a Mystery.  We are also going to feature your posting in our banner of changing features in the hope of getting you an answer.  If you supply a comment to the posting, then you will be notified if there is an additional comment in the distant future as we delete answered emails and we do not maintain contact information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

On hyacinth bean vine
Location: Houston, TX
May 14, 2011 10:22 am
It’s May, and almost overnight, these bugs have taken over my hyacinth bean vines. Who are these guys and can you convince me that I should love them?
Thanks!
Signature: Poston

Aphids

Dear Poston,
You (more correctly, your hyacinth bean) have Aphids.  Since the female Aphid gives live parthenogenic birth to female clones, Aphids can reproduce in prodigious numbers at an expedited rate.  One Aphid seems to become thousands in a rapid period of time.  We have no fondness for Aphids which infest plants sucking their nutritious juices and potentially spreading pathogenic viruses to the plants.  Since your hyacinth bean is a potential food plant, we do not recommend pesticides, and we personally limit the use of pesticides since they do not discriminate between beneficial and injurious species.  A strong jet of water from the hose should knock off the Aphids and they can then become prey to various spiders and other creatures once they have been knocked off the food plant.  You can also try to encourage insects like Lacewings and Lady Beetles as they both relish Aphids as food.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What on earth is this bug?
Location: Orlando, FL
May 13, 2011 4:07 pm
I found this guy on my gardenia [not more than 1/8″ in total length]. One person says it’s beneficial, but can’t recall the name. All I know is my gardenia is dying a slow death and this is the only bug [and a snail] I can find. There are white slightly fuzzy patches near the bud bases as well… Help! I don’t want to kill a good bug, but I want to save my gardenia! Many thanks :)
Signature: Suki

Planthopper Nymph

Dear Suki,
This is some species of Planthopper Nymph in the superfamily Fulgoroidea, but we haven’t had any luck trying to identify the species on BugGuide.  Nymphs are often very difficult to identify to the species level.  There are many Nymphs in the family Issidae pictured on BugGuide, but none matches your specimen.  While Planthoppers can cause problems to plants if they are numerous, a single individual is probably not responsible for your Gardenia’s slow death.

Thank you SO much for your assistance! I will do some research on this species and investigate other plants in my yard and see what I find… Have a great weekend!!!
suki

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cicada from Tasmania
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
May 6, 2011 8:22 pm
I find this on one plant in my garden in Tasmania, Australia. Less than a half-inch long. It seems like a cicada though not the native hairy legged one of Tettigarctidae found here normally (http://www.ces.csiro.au/aicn/name_c/a_4255.htm) based only on a non-microscopic examination. It is silent even in warmer weather but has survived to the winter.
Signature: Tasmanian bug watcher

Passion Vine Hopper

Dear Tasmanian Bug Watcher,
It is undeniable that your insect resembles a Cicada, but we believe it is a Passion Vine Hopper,
Scolypopa australis, which is classified in the family Ricaniidae and not as one of the Cicadas in the family Cicadidae.  Taxonomically, the split occurs at the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, the Free Living Hemipterans.  The family of Cicadas is represented in the superfamily Cicadoidea while the Ricaniid Planthoppers are represented in the superfamily Fulgoroidea.  Ricaniidae is a small Old World family and it is not represented in North America.  It is profiled on the Brisbane Insect Website where it is stated:  “When disturbed, they jumped away with a loud ‘click’ sound and disappeared in the air.  Many of them can be found resting on the same plant during early summer. They are consider as pest on passion vine and kiwifruit. It seems that besides those vine plants, they feed on many other plants as well.”  Because it is considered to be a pest of Kiwi and because Kiwi has such economic significance, the Passion Vine Hopper has been the subject of numerous technical papers including this article from the New Zealand Entomologist.

Passion Vine Hopper

Thank you. I now see the larvae are there are well (which I thought were large aphids of some sort). I will try and eradicate it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

strange bug of course
Location: tampa florida USA
April 30, 2011 1:33 pm
This guy flew into our office building… Is he a nymph of something? Also throwing in another bug I would like to know what it is….
Signature: melody

Oak Treehopper

Hi Melody,
A nymph is an immature insect, and though some nymphs have wing pads that get larger with each molt, only adult insects have fully formed wings and are capable of flight.  This is an adult Oak Treehopper, a somewhat variable species, though your individual matches this image on BugGuide.  Your other insect is a Robber Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange small bug
Location: Girona, Spain
April 27, 2011 7:05 am
Hi,
I found this bug in my garden.
I have never seen anything like it before, could you let me know what it is & if it’s poisonous?
Signature: Alix

Unknown Insect from Spain

Hi Alix,
We just returned from a holiday and despite our posting a notice that we would not be responding to emails, we are positively swamped with identification requests.  We decided to look at the most recent requests and found yours, and this one is a bit of a puzzle for us.  We have confessed on numerous occasions that we do not have a background in entomology, and we need to use the internet for much of our research.  Judging by the antennae, this sure appears to be a beetle, but we are not sure if it is larval since it doesn’t have wings, or if it is a wingless adult, or if it is something else entirely.  Alas, we are also quite busy with our day job and we haven’t the time to research this, but we want to post it in the hopes that one of our readers with more knowledge can provide a comment.  We also wrote to our longtime contributor Eric Eaton to see if he can email us an answer.

Unknown Insect from Spain

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
… The bug in the images is probably some kind of mealybug-type thing that has lost much of its usual waxy coating.  Pretty big for a scale insect, but I don’t think it can be anything else.  Try looking up Pseudococcidae for Spain and see what turns up.  …
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination