Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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I’m looking to identify what type of spider lives in this foamy mess.
July 16, 2009
I went on a hike the other day and along the trail, I saw this white foamy substance under most of the plant leaves. Parts of the trail looked like it was just covered with it. My father said that he had seen the same spit-like goo on deer grass in another part of the county. We asked a ranger what it was, and she told us that there are spiders lying in each glob. Content with that answer we drove home. When I got home, I suddenly realized that I didn’t ask the type of spider and it drove me crazy! It’s too far to drive back there! Yesterday, I went on a run on the trail near our house which goes along the beach, and the same stuff was there, this time I caught a picture! Is there any chance you know what’s going on with this all? I’m dying of curiosity!
Emily W.
Northern California, Humboldt County, McKinleyville

Spittle from a Spittlebug
Spittle from a Spittlebug

Dear Emily,
The ranger spoke in error.  There is no spider in the center of the spittle.  There is an immature Spittlebug in the center of the spittle.  Spittlebugs are leafhopper-like insects in the family Cercopidae, and according to BugGuide, there are 67 North American species in 9 genera.  BugGuide also indicates:  “After the nymph molts for the final time, the resulting adult insect leaves the mass of “spittle” and moves about actively.  The “spittle” is derived from a fluid voided from the anus and from a mucilaginous substance excreted by epidermal glands.  Spittlebug nymphs wander away from their spittle masses, and either start new ones, or enter those of other nymphs. Aphrophora nymphs hold the record, of one spittle mass over a foot long containing about 100 individuals! (Comment by Andy Hamilton).

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Red Bug with White Spots
June 11, 2009
My son describes these bugs that are outside his apartment building (second to last entry in the website noted below). I usually don’t like bugs but these are very beautiful. They jump on his head and shoulders! You can read more and perhaps see clearer images at the website below.
http://grahamwoodring.com/
Christine
Xi’an China

Unknown Hemipteran from China
Lycorma delictula from China

Hi Christine,
We were out of town when your email arrived, and we never answered hundreds of emails in that time.  We are absolutely fascinated by these unknown Hemipterans, the insect order that includes True Bugs and various Hoppers.  We hope one of our readers will be able to assist in this unusual identification.  We agree that they are quite beautiful.

Unknown Hemipteran from China
Lycorma delictula from China

Update from Eric Eaton
Daniel:
The Chinese leafhopper is likely something in the Fulguroidea, and Lois O’Brien could probably tell you which one.  I think you have gone to her before, right?  Let me know if not and I’ll introduce you via e-mail.
Eric

Update from Karl
July 28, 2009
Daniel:
It looks like Eric Eaton is right again. I haven’t been able to identify the fulgoromorph nymph, but I did come across a photo that looks pretty much identical. The image is from a collection posted by the California Academy of Sciences, taken on a field trip to Yunnan Province. Regards.
Karl

Another Update from Karl
Unknown Chinese Hemipteran
July 31, 2009
Daniel:
I dug a little deeper and found an interesting story behind this handsome creature.  The species is Lycorma delictula (Family Fulgoridae : Subfamily Aphaeninae) and it has the erroneous common name White Cicada. Originally from southern China, it has been on the move recently and appears to have made quite a nuisance of itself outside of its natural range, particularly on the Korean Peninsula. I even found one reference in a report on China-Korea trade relations where it was referred to as “adding insult to injury”. It makes a living by sucking tree sap. Regards.
Karl

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Leafhopper ID
July 13, 2009
Lots of these on our Red Bud tree recently (July). Black body with red underside, red line and one yellow line across thorax; wings black with 2 yellow-orange stripes across them. Approx. 1 cm. length. Antennae inconspicuous.
Mary
Central IL

Two Lined Spittlebug

Two Lined Spittlebug

Dear Mary,
This is a Two Lined Spittlebug, Prosapia bicincta.  Spittlebugs are related to Leafhoppers and share many similarities since they are in the same suborder of Free Living Hemipterans, but they have their own family Cercopidae.  The immature Spittlebugs live in a mass of foam that resembles spittle.  BugGuide indicates that the damage done to plants is mild and states:  “In the immature (nymph) stage (surrounded by the ‘spittle’ foam which protects them, and which they produce from juices they suck from the plant) they feed on centipedegrass, bermudagrass and other grasses, including occasionally corn. Adults feed on hollies – they feed on the underside of leaves, and damage shows up as pale mottling not usually visible from above.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unusual cicada/moth like creature with upright tail
June 6, 2009
Hi bugman,
I found this insect on my backyard and looks quite strange. Its about an inch and a half from the head to the tail. I scoured the net but could not find a match. I hope you’ll help me identify this bug.
Thanks.
Buglover
Darjeeling, India.

Unknown Free Living Hemipteran

Leafhopper

Dear Buglover,
Despite the speed of our new computer, we really cannot take the time to research this awesome insect at the moment.  We have been posting old submissions for hours in an attempt to catch up on mail, but the laundry is in need of attention and there is gardening to do.  You are correct in that this is a Cicada Like insect.  It is in the Suborder Auchenorrhyncha which includes Cicadas and other Hoppers.  We hope one of our readers can supply you with an answer until we can take the time to do some research.

Unknown Free Living Hemipteran

Leafhopper

Update from Karl
August 12, 2009
Hi Daniel and Buglover:
This has to be one of my all-time favorite WTB postings, and one of the most challenging.  I really would have thought that such a strikingly beautiful creature would be much easier to track down. It seems the “hoppers” fall into one of those taxonomic twilight zones where there is continuous debate about phylogenetic relationships. I had myself convinced that it was a fulgorid planthopper (Suborder Fulgoromorpha = Auchenorrhyncha), but it actually belongs in the obscure and very primitive family Aetalionidae (Suborder Cicadomorpha: Superfamily Membracoidea) and is therefore more closely allied to the leafhoppers (Cicadellidae) and treehoppers (Membracidae). I believe the species (finally) is Darthula hardwickii, but unfortunately I could find out nothing about the biology of this curious bug. Buglover’s photos are amazing and they match perfectly with a lengthy description provided by Kirkaldy (1900), including: “Face concealed beneath the frontal edge of pronotum…pronotum moderately compressed with a central strong longitudinal lunulate ridge…abdomen provided with a long apical process, about or nearly as long as the whole body, covered with long bristly hairs, with a strong triangular tubercle at base… the [wing] veins raised and prominent”. Apparently it is the largest known leafhopper, at a length of 28 mm, including the 12 mm abdominal appendage. The distribution is given as the Himalayan region from India/Nepal to western Yunnan, China. For another look there is a set of two incredible macro shots of the same creature on flickr (labeled “unidentified Fulgoroidea”). Thanks Buglover – that was awesome!
Karl

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Oleander Aphids
July 12, 2009
I walked outside this afternoon to find some very confusing looking ‘yellow balls’ with odd pointy black bits on my butterfly bush. After some minor research, it turns out they are Oleander Aphids. I saw you only have one photo of the little weirdos, so here is another! They apparently do not harm the plant, so they get to stay there.
Lisa
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Oleander Aphids

Oleander Aphids

Dear Lisa,
We get Oleander Aphids, Aphis nerii, on our Hoya lanceolata each year.  We do not believe they are harmless as they suck the sap from the host plant.  We spray them off the Hoya with a hose.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown hunch-backed insect
Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 6:02 AM
This picture was taken on 7/7/09 on a pontoon rail while boating on Medicine Lake in Minnesota (near Minneapolis). My niece is visiting from Belgium (she’s 7) and she would like to know what kind of bug this is.
Doug
Near Minneapolis, MN

Unknown Treehopper

Unknown Treehopper

Dear Doug,
We sifted through hundreds of images on BugGuide, but we had no luck identifying what species of Treehopper in the family Membracidae you have submitted.  We could find no matches with both the body contour and the coloration of your specimen.  The contour seems closest to the genus Smilia, but the coloration does seem different.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with a more definitive identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination