Tiny White Insect
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
March 14, 2011 4:21 am
Hi, found this relaxing on a succulent plant on a hot day here in Melbourne, Australia… season is Autumn, would you happen to know what this is?
We tried browsing through all the postings of Leafhoppers, Treehoppers and Planthoppers in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha that are available on the Brisbane Insect website, but alas, we have not had any luck identifying your immature Hemipteran nymph. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a more specific identification.
Hi Daniel and A.L.:
I believe this is a Flatid Planthopper (Flatidae: Flatinae) in the predominantly Australian genus Siphanta. It looks very similar to several online images identified as S. acuta, however, there are at least 40 Australian species in the genus and some of them probably have similar looking nymphs. There is also some color variability among nymphs to complicate things further. Nevertheless, S. acuta appears to be the most common species and it has become a bit of a globetrotter as well, with records from New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Africa, Hawaii and mainland USA (California and possibly other states). The common name in Australia and New Zealand is the Green Planthopper, while in the USA it is referred to as the Torpedo Bug. It is considered an agricultural and forest pest in most places where it occurs. The species arrived in Hawaii in the late nineteenth century where it did considerable damage to native trees until it was brought under control in the early twentieth century with the introduction of the Australian egg parasitizing wasp, Aphanomerus puscillus (Scelionidae). Regards. Karl
Thanks for this one especially Karl. I really wanted to put a name to this hieroglyphically marked creature.