Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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Subject: pink and yellow treehopper? fly? moth?
Location: Ashland, Virginia
July 30, 2013 10:59 am
hi bugman, I found this pretty, showy little fly on a basil leaf and have had very little luck figuring out what it could be. I searched a number of different keywords but with no true match. it has similar traits to a number of flying insects, mainly it looked like a treehopper to me, but also a bit like a moth. I’m not an expert by any means but feel i have a basic gardeners knowledge of insects in the area; yet this dude left me totally stumped. I love the beautiful deep magenta on the wings and below the head. any ideas?
Signature: kasey

Broadheaded Sharpshooter

Broadheaded Sharpshooter

Hi Kasey,
The Broadheaded Sharpshooter,
Oncometopia orbona, does not always have this lovely magenta coloration, but there is a matching image on BugGuide that illustrates the magenta form.

thank you! I wouldn’t have even known to search for that term. how interesting!

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Subject: Bug ID
Location: Homosassa Springs, FL
July 27, 2013 8:48 pm
I encountered this little bug at a local Butterfly Garden.
Signature: m flanagan

Broad Headed Sharpshooter

Broad Headed Sharpshooter

Dear m flanagan,
Your Leafhopper is
Oncometopia orbona, commonly called a Broad Headed Sharpshooter.

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Subject: found this
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
July 27, 2013 6:56 pm
I found this in Mexico and would like to know the type of bug this is.
Signature: Dario

Mating Treehoppers

Mating Horseshoe-Shaped  Treehoppers

Dear Dario,
These are Treehoppers in the family Membracidae, and according to BugGuide, they: “differ from related families in having a large pronotum that extends back over the abdomen and (often) covers the head; many species appear humpbacked or thorn-like; others have spines, horns or keels.”  Your individuals are among the most strangely shaped we have seen photos of.  It appears you have also photographed a mating pair.  We found it identified as a Horseshoe-Shaped Treehopper,
Sphongophorus ballista, on The Featured Creature

Horseshoe-Shaped Treehopper

Horseshoe-Shaped Treehopper

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Subject: Is it a moth or a wasp?
Location: Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador (Amazon)
July 12, 2013 1:13 pm
Hi, I was in the jungle in Ecuador. We were in the city of Puyo and this bug flew in at night. It looks like a moth, but I asked and someone said it was a wasp. I can’t find any info about it online. Thanks.
Signature: Jeff

Lanternfly

Lanternfly

Hi Jeff,
This is neither a wasp nor a moth.  It is a Lanternfly or Peanut Headed Bug,
Fulgora laternaria, and there are some local superstitions regarding this unusual relative of Cicadas and Leafhoppers.  Years ago we uncovered the superstion of the Machaca, a local name for the Lanternfly in some areas of South America.  The superstition is that if bitten by a Machaca, a person must have sex within 24 hours, or die.  Though we rarely quote Wikipedia, we cannot resist perpetuating this interesting rumor:  “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 popular belief in Bolivia (Santa Cruz de la Sierra) is that it is a dangerous insect dependant on its wing colours but the insect is actually harmless to people.”  Perhaps that is the reason you were informed that this was a wasp.  To the best of our knowledge, Lanternflies do not bite.  When they were initially discovered by westerners, it was believed that they were bioluminescent, hence the name Lanternfly, but in actuality, they do not glow in the dark.

Thank you. Now I understand why I couldn’t find any info on it.

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Subject: Two-striped Planthopper (Acanalonia bivittata) nymph ?
Location: Naperville, IL
July 9, 2013 7:51 pm
Hi Daniel~
From what I’ve read here, planthopper nymphs can be nearly impossible to identify to the species level, but could these fuzz-dragging little creatures be two-striped planthoppers? They remind me of miniature crustaceans or snails, and I almost always overlook them by mistaking them for dried-up flower detritus. I’ve been inspecting my milkweed patch very carefully these past weeks, however, in the hopes of finding some Monarch eggs. Although a few females have visited my milkweed lately, they seem interested only in nectaring and not laying. So I have to content myself with the other abundant life forms thereupon. Have a lovely week!
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Planthopper Nymph

Planthopper Nymph

Hi Dori,
We can neither confirm nor deny the species identity of this Planthopper nymph, but we suppose it might be the Two-Striped Planthopper based on photos posted to BugGuide.

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Subject: Red black bug
Location: Himachal Pradesh India, Western Himalayas.
July 6, 2013 11:51 pm
Hi Bugman. Please identify this bug from western Himalayas. Thank you.
Signature: Harsha S

Unknown Hemipterans

Froghoppers

Dear Harsha,
We do not recognize your insects but we can tell you that they are Hemipterans, most likely Free Living Hemipterans in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha which includes Cicadas and Treehoppers.  We will post your image and we will continue to research, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in a more specific identification.

Thanks for a quick reply Daniel. I had guessed they are closely related to hoppers. I could not find a picture on web similar to one I had clicked. I hope your veteran researchers will help me. Thanks.

Update:  July 24, 2013
Thanks to a reader’s comment, we now know that this Froghopper or Spittle Bug is
Cosmoscarta bispecularis.  Bold Systems Taxonomy Browser does not have any information.  Alas we cannot read the content of gaga.biodiv.tw, but it appears to be a somewhat credible source of information.  This Spittle Bug did appear on a Hong Kong Stamp, and according to World Stamp News:  “This brightly-coloured Spittle Bug is largely tangerine red with different sized black dots seen on its pronotum and wings. Some of these may join to form broad black bands, with the black spots at the wing tips merging as well. It does not produce any sounds. The adults can often be found between May and September, and, whilst mainly inhabiting shrublands, this uncommon type of Spittle Bug tends to appear in Tai Mo Shan and Ma On Shan as well.”

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