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

help with ID
Location: southern California
May 30, 2011 1:08 pm
I found this bug living on a plant called lochroma in my yard. I don’t remember seeing this bug before. They are grouped up on the stems of the plant and where the stems branch out. There is a steady steam of ants coming and going to the clusters of this bug. I sprayed with neem oil yesterday but they look fine and healthy today.
Signature: Scott

Keelbacked Treehopper Nymphs

Hi Scott,
Our suspicions that you have an infestation of Keel Backed Treehopper nymphs,
Antianthe expansa, was confirmed when we substantiated that your plant, lochroma, is a member of the family Solanaceae which contains tomato, pepper and eggplant.  We have periodical infestations on our tomato plants in Los Angeles, especially plants that have overwintered.  Adult Keelbacked Treehoppers are bright green.  There is some good information on this Backyard Garden page.  The ants are attracted to the honeydew produced by the Treehopper nymphs.

Keelbacked Treehopper Nymph

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Flat oval brown/grey with white margin larva on elm in NH
Location: Concord, NH
May 29, 2011 1:19 am
Just discovered several 6 to 8 millimeter flat oval larva in clusters on young Elm tree in Concord, NH. We believe ants have been farming aphids on this tree in the past and we expect they are at it again. When I scraped the clusters they are soft and become an orange-red ink like (blood colored?) mass. They seem to have collected at regions where the bark is splitting as the tree grows and at sites of pruning last fall. One photo shows how they appear to have a fuzzy white margin.
Signature: Planting Trees for Shade.

Scale on Elm

Of the European Elm Scale, Gossyparia spuria, BugGuide indicates:  “Sap-sucking can cause stunted, chlorotic foliage, premature leaf drop and branch dieback. Associated black sooty mold growth from honeydew secretions on tops of branches gives trees an overall black appearance. Honeydew secretions are also a common nuisance to cars parked under infested elms.
Introduced from Europe.”  It seems the European Elm Scale is an Invasive Exotic species.

European Elm Scale

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown leafhopper
Location: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples FL
May 24, 2011 9:12 pm
The leafhopper in the attached photo has appeared in May in Southwest Florida. I have found two photos of it online, but neither identified the species. It appears to be a powdery white with bright yellow eyes. Any ideas?
Signature: Bug curious

Citrus Flatid Planthopper

Dear Bug curious,
According to BugGuide, the Citrus Flatid Planthopper, though it is frequently found on citrus, it can also be found on a “wide range of other host plants” and then goes on to state that it “‘Feeds on just about anything green’ (Dr Hamilton).”  It is also called a Floury Mothbug.

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?
Signature: Poston


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!!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination