What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I want to identify this bug
Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:46 PM
I thought ants were eating something on a stem of my tomato plants – a lot of bugs together in one black spot – upon further investigation, they were these little spikey aphid looking things – photo included – can you tell me what these bugs are – I have gardened in CA for 40 years and have never seen these bugs – they don’t seem to be causing any damage that I can see – thanks
i don’t care
Orange County California

Keeled Tree Hopper Nymphs

Keeled Tree Hopper Nymphs

Dear i don’t care,
These are immature Keeled Tree Hoppers, Antianthe expansa.  The adults are winged green insects.  Both immature nymphs and adults are plant sucking insects that may spread viral infections to your garden plants.  This species is most fond of the solanaceous plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  The ants “farm” the immature Keeled Tree Hoppers to milk the honeydew from the insects much the same way they farm aphids.  In our own Los Angeles garden, we tend to find the immature Keeled Tree Hoppers on our mature tomato plants in autumn and winter where they congregate on the woodier stems beneath the leaves.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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