Not in Insects of LA Book
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
April 1, 2011 9:48 am
I’ve seen a small (~ 3mm long x 1 mm wide) bug on a plant in my garden that I can’t identify. It’s been on a Lion’s Mane plant in the Los Angeles, CA area in March of this year (temps between 50-80 F). No picture seems to match it in Hogue’s ”Insects of the LA Basin”, my favorite local reference. A couple of pictures are attached. Thanks for your help.
We opened your email yesterday, and we knew we wanted to post your photos, but our own garden was calling to us. We thought about your letter as we were pulling weeds and taking in the wealth of insects that were enjoying the warm sunny conditions, and we waxed poetically about the awesome author Charles Hogue, whose book you mentioned. The Insects of the Los Angeles Basin is our standard for attempting to identify unknown creatures we encounter, but like you, we are sometimes forced to search other venues. Perhaps the world is ready for MORE Insects of the Los Angeles Basin because no volume is ever truly complete. This is an immature Leafhopper, and Hogue’s book only lists two species on page 124. Immature insects can often be quite difficult to identify to the species level. We did a quick search of Leafhoppers in the family Cicidellidae on BugGuide, but we were unable to confirm a conclusive match, so we hope you are satisfied with a family identification. If there are any adult specimens, identification may be much easier. The quality of your photos is excellent.