Location: Langley, BC Canada
August 27, 2011 11:22 am
Please help with insect id (I’ve been researching for hours to no avail). A colony of these (see pics.) was discovered on the roof edge of our metal shed; they are tiny, so at first glance looked like aphids, but moved along rather quickly in a row, ant-like to and fro. They departed from one corner of the roof and at the next corner turned around and marched right back; if they carried anything it wasn’t noticeable. There were wingless nymphs of at least a couple of different sizes; the corner under the roof that they returned to had some spider web-like threading & I guessed was their home (I didn’t find an opportunistic spider in ambush, but of course there could’ve been one).
The shed is shouldered by a camellia, which was treated for scale last year & early this year, and a laburnum whose foliage on this year’s new shoots came out scrawny & misshapen like it was affected by galls (no success ID-ing that so far).
The winged insect I got off the laburnum, it was a great model: didn’t want to move even if prodded. Its body, not counting the legs, is 1/8”. The wingless youngin’ kept on running (this one I got off a chair that’s under the laburnum: the nymphs seem to like taking a walk on inorganic surfaces).
I sure hope you can help me ID & determine what they eat.
We feel strongly that both the winged individual and the individual without wings are Aphids. The curiosity for us is why thy have decided to wander along the edge of the shed roof. Perhaps their plant host has proven to be unlivable for some reason and they have fled in search of a new food host. We cannot determine the species of Aphid, and that might provide some clue as to this unusual behavior. Higher resolution photos would be a big help toward species identification.