Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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Found this bug in my florida house
January 9, 2010
Found this is the house. What bug is this? Black with Red/organge striped wings.
thanks for help
New port richey fl

Two Lined Spittlebug

Two Lined Spittlebug

This is a Two Lined Spittlebug, Prosapia bicincta, a common garden insect that feeds on grasses and holly.  It will not damage your home and is not dangerous to humans or pets.  It probably accidentally came indoors from the yard.

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6-legged “spider”
January 8, 2010
Dear Bugman,
We noticed several of these spider-like bugs crawling around inside our house this December. They seemed to coincide with the set-up of our freshly cut Christmas tree. Once the tree was removed in January we did not notice them anymore. This just may be a coincidence, but we don’t know for sure. We thought they were spiders, but noticed they have only 6 legs. Thanks in advance for your time and we look forward to your response, whether or not you can identify them.
Ed V.
Long Island, NY

Giant Conifer Aphid

Giant Conifer Aphid

Hi Ed,
We did a web search of “Aphid and Pine” and found a North Carolina State University page on Cinara Aphids on Christmas Trees with text, but no images.  The site states:  “Cinara Aphid Appearance. Cinara aphids are some of the largest aphids found in the world, Cinara aphids are usually dark in color appearing brown to black. The young are smaller versions of the adult. Cinarastrobi, the Cinara aphid found on eastern white pine, has white spots on the rear of the abdomen. Cinara aphids eggs are black and oblong and are found singly on the base of the needles.
”  We then verified the appearance on BugGuide, and we are satisfied with the identification that you had Giant Conifer Aphids in the genus Cinara.  We often get reports of unusual insects crawling off of Christmas trees.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your quick reply and apparently accurate identification. The photos on BugGuide look very similar to the actual bugs and to my photo, and after reading the NCSU page I’m convinced that’s what they were. I had checked BugGuide but would have never guessed they are aphids, so skipped that section.
Thanks again,
Ed

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Strange sideways/backwards-walking, jumping bug
January 4, 2010
Hi,
We say this strange bug in Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, Australia on Christmas Day. The weather was dry and it was warm. We were out of direct sunlight although the bug did sit on some of the wood around us in the sunlight looking for heat perhaps.
Assuming we’ve identified teh head correctly it has reddish eyes a white and orange coloured two-piece “back” and a segmented tail end with black and white stripes running across the segments.
The strangest feature were the two long antennae-type bits at the tail end (we thought this was the head first) which where dark with white strips and sort of feathery white ends.
It seemed to walk in any direction without turning round and jumped up to a metre very quicky.
I live in Scotland and have never seen anything like this so don’t even know where to start. It looks like a beetle of some sort!
Any ideas?!
alan
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

Immature Palm Planthopper

Immature Palm Planthopper

Dear Alan,
This was a challenge since it is an immature insect and they can be difficult to identify.  We have received similar images in the past that we identified on the Brisbane Insect website as Wattle Hoppers in the family Eurybrachyidae, but this specimen looked different.  We clicked around on the Brisbane Insect website a bit longer and stumbled upon the Palm Planthopper, Magia subocellata in the family Lophopidae, and it looks quite close.

Immature Palm Planthopper

Immature Palm Planthopper

We then found an image of an immature Palm Planthopper, Magia subocellata, on the LifeUnseen website that corroborates our identification as does a Flickr posting.

Immature Palm Planthopper

Immature Palm Planthopper

Hi Daniel,
Many thanks for this!  I’d done some insect ID many years ago but don’t have any of the resources.  Funnily enough I think I saw something resembling the adult Planthopper closeby while we were entertained by the wee fellow.
Great work, hopw you have a great 2010. J
Cheers,
alan

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Possible scale on Euphorbia
January 2, 2010
Good afternoon,
I was doing some pruning and came across these crazy scales (?) on one of my evergreen Euphorbias. There were eggs and then the next stage appeared to be a reddish brown insect that looked similar to a roly poly but flatter. Then it develops into a scale looking insect with crazy toothpaste white stuff underneath it. It appears to leave behind a tube of scalloped toothpaste stuff. What the…?
T. Koenigsaecker
Northern California

Cottony Cushion Scale

Cottony Cushion Scale

Dear T.,
You have nailed the ID.  This sure looks like a Cottony Cushion Scale, Icerya purchasi, to us.  According to BugGuide, on this Australian native:  “The white fluted part of the insect is an egg sac that can contain up to 1000 eggs. The insect is hermaphroditic, producing sperm that can fertilize its own ova, but in an alternate reproductive strategy it can also make winged males that can fertilize the female part of other individuals.

Scales (?)
January 3, 2010
Hello,
I sent an e-mail on January 2nd regarding scales. I was able to get some better photos and thought I would forward them along. They show the several stages described in my e-mail.
T. Koenigsaecker
Northern California

Cottony Cushion Scale

Cottony Cushion Scale

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What’s that jungle insect?!
December 31, 2009
I was walking through the jungles in Peru this summer when I noticed these insects on a small plant. Their long, white, fuzzy antennae-like protrusions could move independently of one another, and moved quite a bit when I moved quickly toward them or made a loud noise. There appeared to be a bead of some sort of fluid at the point where these strange “antennae” connected to the insects’ heads. Also, these white antennae-like things also seemed to be growing from the bottoms of the leaves of the plant, as if the insects were harvesting them and carrying them on their head like antennae.
I also have a short video showing the way in which they move, if that would be any help. Thanks!
The Monkey Whisperer
Manu National Reserve, Peru

Unknown Hemipteran

Unknown Hemipteran

Dear Monkey Whisperer,
We wish your photo was more detailed, revealing the anatomy of an individual, but alas, it is not so.  We are guessing that this is some species of Free Living Hemipteran, perhaps a Treehopper, Leafhopper, or Aphid, but we are uncertain as to the family, much less the genus or species.  Perhaps one of our readers has more information.  We believe they are immature specimens which could mean the adult looks quite different.  We also believe the antennae you describe are wax filaments which are produced by many Hemipterans.

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next to Aphids
December 25, 2009
Hey, found these triangular green “leaf” bugs next to aphids. Are they good predators or bad adults? Thanks,
Kiloh
Southern California

Keeled Treehoppers

Keeled Treehoppers

Dear Kiloh,
These are adult Keeled Treehoppers, Antianthe expansa, a common garden pest in California and Arizona.  The adults and spiny nymphs, which we believe you may have mistaken for aphids, feed on tomato plants, pepper plants and other related solanaceous plants.  They feed by sucking the juices from the plants.  You can see some nice images on BugGuide.  While looking for potential links, we stumbled upon Vanessa cardui’s wonderful blog, Am I Bugging You Yet? that features bug sightings in and around Tustin, California.

Thanks! Other than a soap wash (or removing the plant) are there any other organic approaches to treating the problem?  PS you folks are great!!

Personally, we hand pick and squash them in our own garden, though they are a bit spiny.  Soapy water should work fine.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination