What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

White feathery insect
Location: Biggsville, Il.
July 29, 2011 4:47 pm
I saw this small white angel shaped insect in the shade garden on July 10th. I have seen it since then but it was flying or better said floating in the wind. It is about a 1/4” in length. I apologize for the clarity of the picture. Thanks for your help in advance.
Signature: Randy Anderson

Woolly Aphid

Hi Randy,
This is a Woolly Aphid in the subfamily Eriosomatinae, and we do not have the necessary skills to identify it to the species level, but you may compare your image to this photo on BugGuide.  It is the end of the month, and we frequently get requests to identify a small white fairy insect, and many times no photos are included because Woolly Aphids are so tiny.  We have decided to feature your photo as our Bug of the Month for August 2011, and we won’t go live with the posting until tomorrow.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Illinois

5 Responses to Bug of the Month August 2011: Woolly Aphid

  1. BaileyRW says:

    I’ve seen these when I was in Iowa! I didn’t know what it was, but it looked soooo amazing. They look like tiny fairies!

  2. andy cruz says:

    How can i up load a picture that i took of the same fairy insect

  3. Joe Kozaczki says:

    I have seen many of these and wonder what damage they do and to what trees or plants? Also how are they controlled? I live in Pa.

    • bugman says:

      Woolly Aphids are members of the subfamily Eriosomatinae, and each species feeds on different host plants. According to BugGuide: “Nearly all members of this subfamily alternate between host plants, generally with a woody primary host (on which overwintering eggs are laid, and on which some species induce galls) and an herbaceous secondary host.” Some host plants listed on BugGuide are: Witch Hazel, Birch, Beech and Balsam. Additionally, in our own garden, we have found them on Apple and Walnut Trees. The University of Minnesota site lists additional trees. The Royal Horticultural Society lists even more.

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