Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Strange, hard, fly like creature
December 22, 2009
The strangest insect ever? Hard as a rock. Didn’t sting or bite but the spike on top and two on his sides were sharp and hard like thorns.
Had wings and was on the beach but seemed unable to fly in the strong breeze. Clung to me or my pencil till I let him go in the jungle.
Thank you! Kambri Crews
Mexico

Follow up re: Strange, hard, fly like creature
on December 22, 2009
I was silly and submitted a photo and brief email without first perusing your site and getting the gist.
Please accept my apologies for the lame narrative in my prior submission!
I have also attached one additional photo of THE most interesting insect I have ever laid eyes on. Have you any idea what he could be?
Thanks again! Kambri Crews
Maroma Spa & Resort, near Playa del Carmen Mexico

Treehopper

Treehopper

Dear Kambri Crews,
This is a Treehopper in the family Membracidae.  Many species in the family mimic thorns and they are nearly impossible to see when  resting on a thorny branch.  They may also mimic the lead tip on a pencil.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Tiny bugs all our fence!
November 13, 2009
We live in Philadelphia and over the past few months part of our back yard fence has been colonized by these small (3mm) insects. There are hundreds of them. The fence runs underneath a weeping willow tree, and they appear to also be on the willow. The bugs move fairly quickly. I’ve tried sweeping/blowing them away, and they return hours later. When you squish them it leaves a purple residue. Our landscaper thinks that based on the speed of the insect, that they’re probably a “beneficial”. Any thoughts?
Sam Blackman
Philadelphia, PA (Northwest corner of the city)

Unknown Hemipterans

Black Willow Aphid

Hi Sam,
WE are not having much luck with a definitive identification.  At first we thought these were immature True Bugs, but we cannot find any images that match.  Then we thought perhaps they might be Aphids, which are in the same insect order as the True Bugs. There is a
Giant Willow Aphid, but it doesn’t match your specimens.  We think we need to seek assistance from Eric Eaton and our readership on this identification.

Unknown Hemipterans

Black Willow Aphid

We were not content with giving up, and we located a reference on the UMN Yard and Garden News website for a Black Willow Aphid, with no scientific name.  It is described by Jeffrey Hahn as:  “Black aphids with orangish or brownish legs and cornicles (the tail pipes of an aphid) on willow are black willow aphids. They are large for an aphid, reaching up to 3/16th inch in length. They can be quite abundant in August and September. These aphids are common on willows and may also be found occasionally on poplars and silver maples.
Black willow aphids secrete honeydew, a sticky sugary substance which will coat any object underneath an infestation. Yellowjackets may be attracted to infested trees because of the honeydew. In addition to being a problem in trees, these aphids sometimes have an annoying habit of dropping to the ground and collecting around buildings and nearby objects. If their bodies are crushed, they can stain siding and other objects a blue-purple color.
Despite their abundance, they do little if any lasting harm to established, vigorously growing trees. Their presence is just a nuisance. Tolerate these aphids as much as possible. If you wish to reduce their numbers, try washing them off as many branches as you can reach with a hard spray of water. A less toxic insecticide option would be treat them with insecticidal soap. If nothing is done, their numbers will diminish on their own by the end of the month.
”  That led to an image on Flickr with the scientific name Pterocomma salicis.  That brought us back to BugGuide.  The images online of the Black Willow Aphid are spotted, but other than that, they resemble your insects.  We still hope to get assistance with this ID.

Unknown Hemipterans

Black Willow Aphid

Daniel:
I think it might be a willow aphid of sorts, just not the one you were thinking of.  I think these might be Pterocomma salicis instead, but I am by no means positive.  At this time of year aphids are changing to alternate host plants for the winter, too, so that can really throw things off.  Aphids of the same species can, in at least some cases, look completely different depending on whether they are on the primary host or the alternate host.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What might this be
October 18, 2009
Hi guys,
Been a while, hope all is well your end. Any ideas on this one? The front legs look mantid like. Is it a nymph stage of a mantis of some sort?
Aussietrev
Queensland. Australia

Unknown Australian Hopper

Unknown Australian Hopper

Hi Trevor,
Welcome back.  This appears to be some species of immature hopper, possibly a Fulgoroid.  The front legs remind us of Cicadas, but the head is different.  We searched through many possibilities on the Geocities website of Australian Insects without luck.  We haven’t the time to research the species as we are running late this morning, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide an answer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination