Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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Is this a Lantern Moth?
Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 3:43 PM
This moth stayed on our terrace in Zihuatanejo, Mexico for a day and a night last fall.
Abigail
Zihuatanejo Mexico

Lanternfly

Lanternfly

Hi Abigail,
This is a Lanternfly, and it is a planthopper in the family Fulgoridae, not a moth. The Lanternfly is sometimes called a Peanut Headed Bug as well as an Alligator Bug because of its appearance. It is thought to mimic a lizard to escape predators. Your photo illustrates this nicely. According to Wikipedia , this insect, known as the Machaca in the Amazon, has a very interesting superstition surrounding it: “In several countries, such as Ecuador ,Colombia and Venezuela , there exists the myth that if somebody is bitten by the machaca , he or she must have sex within 24 hours to prevent an otherwise incurable death. The insect is actually harmless to people.”  Your photo of the underside of the Lanterfly shows the eyespots on the lower wings.  This is another form of protective mimicry, because when the Lanternfly reveals those eyespots, it gives the illusion of being a large predator.

Lanternfly

Lanternfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Little spiky bug… (the last martian on earth)
Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 2:32 PM
Hi Bugman!
When I was a little boy I used to play with this type of insect I called “marcianitos” (little martian in spanish). There used to be hundreds in some trees at school, but I wasn’t able to find them in any other place. I even tried to breed them at home in every plant I found but they always disappeared.
Today, 20 years later, I was at the mechanic and when I bent down to pick up something I found this one lying on the floor, It was barely alive but I managed to bring it home and take some photos.
Most of them looked like this one, but there were others with other color highlights, some brown instead of green, and others with the top spike less “pointy” but flatter, longer and a little bit bent backwards with a more aerodynamics look. It doesn’t smell bad, but when I gathered many of them together for a while they produced a bitter-leaf-smell I think but not too strong. They fly and when put lying down they do some kind of “click” to get up.
Could you help me identify this boy?
Thanks!
Edgar O.
Dominican Republic ( Caribbean)

Treehopper

Thorn Treehopper

Dear Edgar,
We are perfectly charmed by your letter, from the childhood memories, to the decades later encounter, to the colorful description, to the descriptive Spanish name for this unknown Tree Hopper. Tree Hoppers are in the family
Membracidae. Though we cannot identify your exact species, you can view many similar relatives of your Marcianito from North America on BugGuide

Update: Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 9:02 AM
Thank you very much Daniel!
With the name you gave me I think I found more about them, their name is “Thorn Treehopper” (Thorn bug, Thornhopper)… check it out at bugguide:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/4791/ I also find something here: http://www.kendall-bioresearch.co.uk/hemip1.htm#tree
If that info is correct then we have just identified our bugdy!
Thank you again!
Edgar.

Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 7:21 AM
Comment:
This Membracid is in the genus Umbonia most likely U. crassicornis or U. spinosa. I have seen them in aggregations many times, usually the mothers gaurd the eggs which they insert into plant tissue, then they form family groups which are subsocial.
Author : Jackruby

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Red-orange bugs by the thousands in Southeastern Brazil, 800 m. asl
Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 5:01 AM
Our garden in Petropolis (Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Brazil, 22º22′S 43º06′W), in the Serra do Mar, about 800 meters asl) is now filled with tens of thousands of these little red-orange bugs, with size varying from one millimeter to a centimeter. They apparently do not cause any damage to the plants, but seem to be associated with the red fruits of a nearby tree, which are all over the ground at this time of the year.
Eduardo Viveiros de Castro
Serra do Mar, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (22S43W)

Unknown Nymphs from Brazil

Unknown Nymphs from Brazil

Hello Eduardo,
You were quite accurate in calling these bugs. They appear to be immature Hemipterans, probably True Bugs. Since they are immature, they may change in appearance as they mature. Mature Hemipterans usually have wings. There are many North American species of Hemipterans that form large aggregations like the ones depicted in your image. One of the most common is the Boxelder Bug. We are going to post your images in the hope that one of our readers can locate an accurate identification for you.

Hemipteran Aggregation

Hemipteran Aggregation

Many immature True Bugs are quite similar in appearance and it may be very difficult to get an exact species identification without seeing an adult insect.

Hemipteran Aggregation

Hemipteran Aggregation

Update: Aggregation of Unknown Red Hemipterans in Brazil
Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 3:26 PM
Hi Daniel:
Hemipteran nymphs are always difficult to identify, but I believe the ones posted by Eduardo are probably in the family Lygaeidae (chinch bugs and seed bugs). They really look very similar to early instar Large Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus), which range from the southern USA to Brazil. I don’t think that that’s quite it, however, for a variety of reasons (no mention of any sort of milkweed; the larger juveniles would be showing some black markings; Eduardo’s nymphs clearly have white-tipped antennae). It could be some other Oncopeltus species or it could be a related species – there are plenty to choose from in Brazil. Regards.
Karl
http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/showimage/995/

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

From Puerto Rico: Hemiptera or Diptera?
Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 7:32 AM
I thought this would be a bug, but upon looking at it more closely I believe I see alteres. Perhaps a sort of fly? It would perch on leaves and stay immobile for long periods of time. Photographed during the day, Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico.
Alejandro Sanchez
Lowland rain forest, Luquillo Mountains, eastern Puerto Rico

unknown Fly (we think) from Puerto Rico

Hemipteran from Puerto Rico

Hello Alejandro,
We believe this is a fly in the order Diptera, but we are uncertain beyond that. We will check with Eric Eaton to see if he is able to provide additional information. We would not entirely rule out that this is a Hemipteran, because although the image appears to indicate halteres, the knobbed, thread-like, hind wing organs of flies, our ancient volume of Comstock’s An Introduction to Entomology states on page 59: “The hind wings of the males of the family Coccidae are also threadlike.”

Unknown Fly from Puerto Rico

Hemipteran from Puerto Rico

Correction: From Eric Eaton
Monday, January 26, 2009
Ok, the “fly” is some kind of hemipteran, probably a fulgoroid hopper, but in the tropics there are entire families not seen in North America….
Eric

Update: Tuesday January 27, 2009
Hi Daniel:
The web site Fulgoromorpha Lists on The Web (FLOW) lists only seven fulgoroid species for Puerto Rico, in two families (Achilidae and Cixiidae) and five genera. I was not able to locate images of any of the listed species, but based on related species it looks like it is probably a Cixiid (Bothriocera bicornis, Cubana tortriciformis or Oliarus cingalensis). It looks quite similar to the Bothriocera images on Bugguide. Regards.
Karl
Links: http://flow.snv.jussieu.fr/cgi-bin/flowexplorer.pl?lang= en&page=country&id=40

http://bugguide.net/node/view/43853/bgimage

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown insect eggs(?)
Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 11:24 AM
Unknown insect eggs(?)
I found these on a plant in my backyard in Southern California. The plant is low and spindly and sits about two feet from a fountain that is always running. When I first took the pictures I didn’t notice the spider in the background. Yesterday, the two spiders were “face to face”. Now I notice that the one ate the other. Are they spider eggs? Did she eat him, like a black widow? What struck me about whatever these things are are their uniformity, abundance and metallic looking details.
SoCal Soundguy
Monrovia, CA

Barnacle Scales

Barnacle Scales

Dear SoCal Soundguy,
These are Wax Scale Insects known as Barnacle Scales, Ceroplastes cirripediformis. You can confirm the ID on BugGuide
which indicates that it is a pest on quince and citrus in Florida. It is also reported from California. Images on BugGuide include specimens found on pomegranate, camellia and sage. We located a PDF online that pictures another similar looking species, Ceroplastes ceriferus, listed as the Indian Wax Scale. Soft Scale insects are plant sucking insects that can do major damage to plants if they get too plentiful. We wish you were able to provide us with the host plant name. It looks like it might be lantana, but we are not certain.

Barnacle Scales

Barnacle Scales

Follow up: Wax Pests
Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 2:53 PM
Daniel,
Thanks for your prompt, informative reply. You were interested in the
plant the finding came from. Not only did I send you a picture of the
plant but I did you one better: I included a picture of the plant tag
that the horticulture garden I bought it from (Huntington Gardens)
identified it with. The plant is Salvia Ulignosa.
I didn’t realize how many of these things were on the plant until I
pulled them off (they came off easily) or clipped high denisty clusters
like the branch shown. Then I burned them with a blow torch. I figured
that was the most definitive way to destroy them, lest they survive a
trip to a landfill and cause someone else a headache. …
Chuck
SoCal Soundguy
P.S. I have so tell you how satisfying it is to write your site. Answers are typically prompt, but always knowlegable and succinct. Thank you!

Barnacle Scales

Barnacle Scales

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

grasshopper???
Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 12:59 AM
hi there. I was recently on a hike in Eshowe South Africa and came across this bug. It looks like grass hopper family to me, but I cant be sure. I’d love it if you could Identify it for me! :)
Michelle Krystle Govender
Eshowe SA

Immature Fulgorid Planthopper

Immature Fulgorid Planthopper

Hi Michelle,
We believe this is an immature Fulgorid Planthopper.  Other than that, we can’t give tou specifics on the species.  We have gotten numerous images from South Africa in the past week.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination