Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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Subject: tree hopper species?
Location: Blythewood, SC
April 23, 2013 8:29 pm
Found a bunch of these all huddled together on a branch. Some had a horn, others didn’t. I am guessing male and female. What species is this? Thy did not want to move or come off the branch.
Signature: ?

Oak Treehopper

Oak Treehopper

Dear ?,
The Oak Treehopper,
Platycotis vittata, comes in both horned and hornless variations that have nothing to do with the sex.  Thank you for supplying photos of both variations in a single posting.  There are also striped and solid colored individuals.  You can read more about the Oak Treehopper on BugGuide.

Oak Treehopper

Oak Treehopper


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mt. Washington leaf-like bug I have never seen!
Location: Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
April 20, 2013 11:33 pm
Hello Bugman,
I just came home and found this adorable little bug on my front door. I have personally never seen anything like it in Los Angeles! I want to say that it was 2cm long. Do you know what this cute leaf looking little thing is? I would really love to know!
Signature: Your fellow bug loving neighbor,

Torpedo Bug

Torpedo Bug

Dear fellow bug loving neighbor,
We don’t know which excites us more: to have a WTB? Mount Washingtington posting that our editorial staff did not submit, or to have learned that this interesting creature is called a Torpedo Bug one of the Flattid Planthoppers.  We quickly identified the Torpedo Bug as
Siphanta acuta on BugGuide where we learned it is: “native to Australia, adventive elsewhere (New Zealand, Hawaii); established in CA” and “earliest NA record: CA 1983 not considered a pest in CA; considered a pest of banana, citrus, coffee, guava, macadamia, and many ornamentals in HI.”  We are still tagging it as an Invasive Exotic.  Though it is not considered a pest in CA, that might be because it is not that numerous or because it hasn’t yet affected the agricultural industry.  If it is considered a pest on citrus in Hawaii, it stands to reason it might also affect citrus in California.  Planthoppers feed by sucking juices from plants with their piercing/sucking mouthparts.  The New South Wales Government Agricultural website has a nice photo of the Torpedo Bug, but it is called the Green Planthopper.  

Hi Daniel,
Sorry for the delay in reply! I’ve been very busy on a job and wasn’t able to respond until now.
Thank you so much for identifying the bug for me. As a gardener I see a lot of bugs but this torpedo bug was certainly a different one!
Thank you so much for your blog… it is quite fun! …
Warmly,

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant mealybug ? Scale?
Location: Glendale, California, USA
April 9, 2013 9:30 pm
Greetings Bugman – It is windy indeed around the corner here in Glendale!
Yesterday I removed the ties around a wood stake that was supporting a newly planted albizia tree in my backyard. Bright orange, egg-yolk-looking stuff smeared on my fingers and I found little groupings of these creatures beneath several of the ties.
They look like mealybugs, but they are huge! A quarter of an inch long, at least. Can you identify them? Are they beneficial, destructive, or neutral?
Thanks in advance.
Signature: Janine in Glendale

Cottony Cushion Scale

Cottony Cushion Scale

Hi Janine,
It is currently calm, but we understand the winds are supposed to return today.  We believe these are Cottony Cushion Scale, and we believe that is the insect we found on our endangered California Black Walnut last year.  When we manually smashed them, they were orange.  You can read about the Cottony Cushion Scale on BugGuide where it states:  “Hosts include many plants, though in FL Citrus and Pittosporum are most commonly affected.”
  The University of Florida Featured Creatures states:  “The mature females (actually hemaphrodites) have bright orange-red, yellow, or brown bodies (Ebeling 1959). The body is partially or entirely covered with yellowish or white wax. The most conspicuous feature is the large fluted egg sac, which will frequently be two to 2.5 times longer than the body. The egg sac contains about 1000 red eggs (Gossard 1901).”  You should try to eliminate the Scale.  According to the Featured Creatures:  “The cottony cushion scale can severely damage trees, resets, and nursery stock. Decreased tree vitality, fruit drop, and defoliation result from the feeding of this scale. Most damage occurs from the feeding of the early immature stages of the scale on the leaves, where they settle in rows along the midrib and veins, and on the smaller twigs. The older nymphs continue to feed, but migrate to the larger twigs, and finally, as adults, they settle on the larger branches and trunk. This scale is seldom found on the fruit. Added damage can result from the accumulation of sooty mold due to the honeydew excreted by the scale.”

Thank you so much :). Off on scale safari I go.    Janine

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Subject: Cicada from Guyana
Location: Guyana , Iwokrama
March 31, 2013 4:31 am
Hi,
I’d be very happy if you could identify this cicada for me. Found it in Guyana at Iwokrama River Lodge.
Thanks!
Signature: Karin

Hemipteran

Froghopper

Hi Karin,
We were out of the office when your identification request arrived and we are currently trying to catch up on all our unanswered mail.  It seems in our absence, we missed Maria Sibylla Merian’s 366th birthday that was noted on Google Doodle and picked up by all the major news outlets including the LA Times, Huffington Post and National GeographicWe did our own lecture on Maria Sibylla Merian at the Getty in 2008.  Since Guyana is next to Suriname, we thought it was appropriate to mention that here.  We don’t believe this is a true Cicada, but rather one of the other closely related Hemipteran families that are classified with Cicadas as free living Hemipterans.  Perhaps we can get a more definite identification at a later date.

Hemipteran

Froghopper

Karl Provides and ID
Hi Daniel and Karin:
Your bug is a Spittle Bug or Froghopper (Auchenorrhyncha: Cercopidae). I am fairly certain that the correct ID would Schistogonia simulans (perhaps = S. cercopoides). I could not find any easily accessible images or information online, but I was able to find it by browsing through an online (downloadable) version of the book “Cercopid Spittle Bugs of the New World (Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cercopidae)” by Gervásio Silva Carvalho and Michael D. Webb (2005). Several other South American cercopids look similar; for comparison you could check out Laccogrypota praetor. Regards.  Karl

 

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Subject: Hong Kong Bugs
Location: Hong Kong, Tung Chung N. Park
March 28, 2013 3:14 am
I found this and another in a Hong Kong Park this afternoon after a big thunderstorm.
Signature: johnsohk

Lanternfly or Longan Chicken

Lanternfly or Longan Chicken

Dear johnsohk,
Your insect is a Lanternfly in the family Fulgoridae, and we identified the species in the past as
Pyrops candelaria.  Several years ago a reader informed us that the Mandarin name for this insect is translated as the Longan Chicken because it feeds on the sap of Longan Trees.  We will be postdating your submission to go live next week as we will be away from the office for a few days.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: peanut head bug (fulgora laternaria) question
Location: South America
March 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Why does fulgora laternaria have its incredibly distinct head shape?
Signature: James Bowler

Peanut Headed Bug

Peanut Headed Bug

Hi James,
We are not sure even scientists know what evolutionary trajectory caused the Peanut Headed Bug or Lanternfly to develop this unique appearance.  We will see what we can unearth on the internet.  According to Virtual Rainforest:  “Scientists think that the head is supposed to imitate a lizard’s head, and animals that don’t eat lizards are scared away. It is part of a complex anti-predator scheme the bug uses. The peanut-head has large red and black spots on its underwings that look like large eyes when the bug spreads its wings. If these don’t scare away predators, the bug releases a skunk-like spray. In the rainforest there are so many things that want to eat the peanut-head that it needs a lot of defenses.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination