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

Beetle(?) Larva?
Location: Mims, Florida
December 10, 2010 7:56 pm
Found this little guy on my porch railing. Some eat color and some odd gyrations made him catch my eye. Question is…what the heck is he gonna be when he grows up? I put a dime in the corner of one of the images to give an idea of size…is he a baby cockroach?
PS Love the site…
Signature: Mark

Leafhopper Nymph

Dear Mark,
We were so puzzled by this guy, that at first we were not sure where to begin.
It does appear to be an immature insect, and we do not believe it is a larva of an insect with complete metamorphosis, which would eliminate the beetles.  Our gut instinct is that is looks like a member of the order Hemiptera, but the antennae seem wrong for that.  They are much longer than most members of the order.  Then we found an image on BugGuide of a Privet Leafhopper Nymph, Fieberiella florii, and it has enough similarities to your insect to embolden us that we are on the right track. Once we found an image on BugGuide of the nymph of a Leafhopper in the genus Gyponana, we felt we were close enough to the answer to post it and respond to you. Of the genus, BugGuide indicates:  “Very few species are readily identifiable based on external characters andPonana and Gypona nymphs are very similar but have dark markings.

Leafhopper Nymph

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

December 4, 2010
Today when the gardening crew came to lay down more decomposed granite in the front yard of our Mt Washington offices, I noticed this Scale Insect on several twigs of the California Black Walnut sapling that grew in the Devil’s Strip next to the fence.  When I went back to take the photograph, it had been pruned and left in the street by Paco the Gardener.  I took the photographs.  These Scale insects look suspiciously like the Cottony Cushion Scale,
Icerya purchasi, (See BugGuide) that was introduced from Australia and nearly devastated the citrus crop after its introduction in around 1868.

This identification is going to be our top priority as we are quite committed to saving the endangered California Black Walnut in Southern California, and most aggressively in the Mt Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles.

What’s That Scale???

Update: December 5, 2010
An internet search turned up a Google Book entry on Pests of Crops in Warmer Climates and Their Control by D.S. Hill and it indicates that the Cottony Cushion Scale can be found on English Walnut,
Juglans regia, so it might be safe to assume that it may also be found on California Black Walnut, Juglans californica.

Clare Marter Kenyon wrote
ugh. no. i don’t recall seeing this scale on juglans californica…
get rid of it pronto!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind of bug is this???
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
December 1, 2010 7:42 pm
The other day I noticed about 100 of these bugs just appear in my house. Shocked by what was happening and was freaked out. They got all over clothes, floors and were crawling on the walls. I took a picture of one before I killed it hoping to understand what this is and where it came from?
Its real small like 1/8” in diameter, black body with about three thorns on it’s butt.
Any advice would be helpful!
Signature: Mike

Aphid: Where did they come from???

Hi Mike,
We had to enlarge your photograph which degraded the image quality, but it appears that this is an Aphid in the family Aphididae.  According to BugGuide:  “Aphids may be identified by two tubelike projections on the posterior, called cornicles or siphunculi. These appear to function as a means of chemical defense, emitting pheromones to alert other aphids about a predator nearby. They also offer mechanical protection, as the fluid emitted can gum up the mouthparts of the predators.  Although many different aphid species are known, they may sometimes be identified by the host plant upon which they are found. However, several different species of aphid may infest a single plant species. An attempt to organize BugGuide’s aphid images by host plant is underway here.
”  Determining why they are in your home should result in resolving the problem.  Aphids feed by sucking the juices from plants, and many species are significant agricultural pests.  Did you recently purchase a new house plant?  Perhaps you recently brought plants back into the house that have spent the summer outside.  Maybe you just brought a live Christmas Tree indoors.  It is often quite difficult to determine the exact species of Aphid based on a photograph alone.  If these Aphids came from a live Christmas Tree, they might be Giant Conifer Aphids in the genus Cinara.  Of this group, BugGuide notes:  “They are, however, a problem for Christmas tree growers: customers don’t like large, conspicuous aphids in their homes, especially since they tend to abandon the tree as it starts to dry out.”  Aphids are not the only insects that enter the home on a Christmas Tree, and each year we get at least one letter from a person who suddenly finds Preying Mantids have hatched from an ootheca that came with the tree.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

White bug with extended growths
Location: Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia
November 12, 2010 6:30 pm
Hi, We saw this bug in Sabah, Borneo in October. It was about 1” long and wide.
It seemed to have grown silk-like filaments that have bound together (rastafari-style), perhaps as protection to make it look too big to eat.
Thanks Frank D
Signature: Frank D.

Fulgorid Planthopper Nymph

Dear Frank,
Though we are uncertain of the exact species, this is a Planthopper in the family Fulgoridae, and it is an immature nymph.  This family is often characterized by nymphs that secrete a waxy substance that often forms long filaments, presumably for protection.

I have updated the description on my web page to reflect your ID.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: South Africa, Gauteng
October 30, 2010 6:07 pm
Found this in a big tree with yellow flowers. They have been there for the last 3 weeks and did not change in that time
Signature: Annelise

Rain-Tree Bug nymphs

Dear Annalise,
We wish you had provided additional information.  We would really love to know the size of these creatures and the identity of the plant species might also prove very helpful.  The closest we have seen to anything like this are the Spittlebugs in the family Cercopidae.  Here is an image from BugGuide.  There are many North American species and they are small insects.  The immature nymphs form a mass of spittle that they use for protection, and they are occasionally found in groupings with their siblings.  Spittlebugs feed on the fluids from the plants which they extract with their sucking mouthparts.  According to BugGuide:  “nymphs surround themselves with a frothy mass that resembles spittle
” and “The ‘spittle’ is derived from a fluid voided from the anus and from a mucilaginous substance excreted by epidermal glands.”  Based on this information, we will attempt to provide you with a species identification, but we would appreciate any additional information you are able to provide to us.  We are not certain if there are other Free-Living Hemipterans in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha that exhibit a similar habit with the immature phase, but that is also a possibility.

Immediate Update: Moments after posting, we did a search of Spittlebugs South Africa and we found the Fieldguide to Insects of South Africa Google books by Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving which includes the following description of the Rain-Tree Bug or Tipuana Spittle Bug, Ptyelus grossus:  “Identification: Large (wingspan 30-35 mm), with slate grey wings, marked with 2 large cream and orange spots and smaller cream dots.  Nymphs (4A) black with fine cream hieroglyphic-type markings and central orange stripe.  Biology: Well known for the phenomenon of ‘rain-trees’, produced by the constant dripping of processed tree sap through the bodies of clusters of nymphs and adults.”  The Google Book also contains an image of a solitary nymph outside of the spittle mass.  Wikipedia Commons has a matching image of the nymphs.  We are unable to locate any additional information on this species.

Update October 19, 2015
In researching a new comment, we did more research and we learned this on the Flora of Zimbabwe site:  “The spittle bug, Ptyelus grossus, is common in Zimbabwe and occurs in large numbers on the rain tree Philenoptera violacea but are also found on other trees like Tipuana tipu and Rauvolfia caffra. The spittle bug feeds on the sap of the plant by piercing the bark of the tree with their stylets (sucking mouthparts) and sucking the sap at great speed. The plant sap is a weak solution of sugars and salts and the insect has to consume a great deal in order to obtain sufficient nourishment, so they eject almost pure water equally fast. This drips from the tree in sufficient quantities to form pools on the ground below and infested trees have acquired the name ‘rain tree’.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

an insect I’ve seen no where else
Location:  roughly 47 degrees N & 116 W
October 6, 2010 6:46 pm
I live in north Idaho in the pan handle near spokane washington. There is a flying insect that comes around at the end of the summer & early autumn I’ve never seen anywhere else & can’t seem to find it in anything online. So its a very small gnat sized insect, with very large wings compared to its body, which is a bluish/grayish almost striped in color. It also has a white fuzzy rear end that makes it appear as though its cotton from the trees flying around. I didn’t have a camera good enough to take such close pictures of this insect the 1 I will send isn’t good enough to identify I’m sure.
Signature:  Please send me an email back

Woolly Aphid, presumably

Dear Please send me an email back
Seriously, there is no way we can identify anything from your photo, but from your description, we can guess that perhaps you are seeing Woolly Aphids.  Here is a nice image on BugGuide for comparison.  BugGuide classifies them in the subfamily Eriosomatinae.  Your photo gave us a good laugh this morning, but at least your verbal description contained helpful information.  Our readership might be surprised at the number of people who provide us with blurry photos of what appears to be dust, and then hysterically demand to know “What is this?”

Well the link you sent of the picture is exactly what the insect is. I thank you for your help & time & will return to you anytime I need to find info out about insects & other creatures. I’m glad you got a laugh from the photo I knew no one would be able to differ what it could be as I said camera isn’t very good.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination