What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mt. Washington leaf-like bug I have never seen!
Location: Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
April 20, 2013 11:33 pm
Hello Bugman,
I just came home and found this adorable little bug on my front door. I have personally never seen anything like it in Los Angeles! I want to say that it was 2cm long. Do you know what this cute leaf looking little thing is? I would really love to know!
Signature: Your fellow bug loving neighbor,

Torpedo Bug

Torpedo Bug

Dear fellow bug loving neighbor,
We don’t know which excites us more: to have a WTB? Mount Washingtington posting that our editorial staff did not submit, or to have learned that this interesting creature is called a Torpedo Bug one of the Flattid Planthoppers.  We quickly identified the Torpedo Bug as
Siphanta acuta on BugGuide where we learned it is: “native to Australia, adventive elsewhere (New Zealand, Hawaii); established in CA” and “earliest NA record: CA 1983 not considered a pest in CA; considered a pest of banana, citrus, coffee, guava, macadamia, and many ornamentals in HI.”  We are still tagging it as an Invasive Exotic.  Though it is not considered a pest in CA, that might be because it is not that numerous or because it hasn’t yet affected the agricultural industry.  If it is considered a pest on citrus in Hawaii, it stands to reason it might also affect citrus in California.  Planthoppers feed by sucking juices from plants with their piercing/sucking mouthparts.  The New South Wales Government Agricultural website has a nice photo of the Torpedo Bug, but it is called the Green Planthopper.  

Hi Daniel,
Sorry for the delay in reply! I’ve been very busy on a job and wasn’t able to respond until now.
Thank you so much for identifying the bug for me. As a gardener I see a lot of bugs but this torpedo bug was certainly a different one!
Thank you so much for your blog… it is quite fun! …


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California

3 Responses to Torpedo Bug in Mount Washington

  1. aussietrev says:

    Looking at the pic the brown edging on the top doesn’t continue down the wing so it is possibly could be S. hebes, although without getting personal with its genitals it is almost impossible to be sure.

  2. Kitani says:

    These guys are everywhere in Pennsylvania… there also appear to be moth-like ones…

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