From the monthly archives: "December 2008"
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

Pure White insect on floor of sulawesan rainforest
Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM
Viewing the variety of colors and shapes in the insect world on your site is a truly humbling experience. What I have found distinctly lacking are “bugs” that are pure white. When I have come across insects that are white, they always have some markings.
While walking the Tangkoko Rainforest in North Sulawesi a few weeks ago, I asked my guide to identify the white object on a leaf. He stated that it must be some feather of a bird. Clearly, my guide had never seen such a bug before. As Ralph Emerson said: “People see what they are prepared to see.”
This is the second pure white insect I have seen, the other in a woodpile in Rwanda which I sent to you without response.
Can you identify this one for me? I would be interested on thoughts on pure white insectss.
Thanks!
Dr. Sal Sclafani, Brooklyn, New York
Tangkoko Rainforest, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Probably Fulgorid Planthopper Nymph

Probably Fulgorid Planthopper Nymph

Dear Dr. Sal Sclafani,
This is some species of immature Homopteran, a member of the now defunct order that includes aphids and planthoppers.  Some immature Homopterans secrete a white waxy substance that forms filaments and the wax is a protection for the soft bodied insects.  We suspect this may be one of the Fulgorid Planthoppers, but we are not certain.  There is a spectacular Central American Planthopper, Cerogenes auricoma, that also produces the waxy filaments as an adult.  In the interest of correct modern taxonomy, the Fulgorid Planthoppers are, according to BugGuide, now classified  thus:  “Order Hemiptera – True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha – Free-living Hemipterans
Superfamily Fulgoroidea – Planthoppers
Family Fulgoridae – Fulgorid Planthoppers “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

pink dragonfly
Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 2:55 PM
his beauty is from my trip to Hong Kong in August. I have never seen one this color and thought I would share it with you for the upcoming holiday season…even though it is hot pink.
polymersn
hong kong

Unknown Dragonfly

Trithemis aurora

Dear polymersn,
Magenta is quite an unusual color in the insect world. Certain katydids have this bright jarring coloration, but they are color sports and not typical. We have never seen such color in a Dragonfly, but a google search for “pink dragonfly hong kong” turned up a matching image on Flicker identified as Trithemis aurora. The TrekNature website has information on the species, but the image is not of a brightly colored individual. There is also online reference to the common name Dawn Dropwing or Crimson Dropwing. We visited numerous websites while trying to gather information on the Dawn Dropwing, and there are many photographs posted online, but your photo is, in our critical estimation, the loveliest we encountered.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination