From the daily archives: "Tuesday, December 24, 2013"

Subject: tiny green beetle-like bug
Location: Albuquerque, NM
December 23, 2013 5:04 pm
Hi guys!
This tiny guy was crawling across our bathroom floor before we put him outside. He’s actually so small that I thought at first that he was a tick. Closer inspection showed that he looks more like a tiny watermelon with legs. 🙂 We’ve done searches but can’t seem to find any picture that matches closely enough for a 100% positive ID. If you can help satisfy our curiosity, that would be great! Thanks!
Signature: Kathy Kubica



Hi Kathy,
This has to be one of the smallest digital files that has ever been sent to us for identification purposes.  This appears to us to be a Mite.

Thanks, Daniel!
Based on your narrowing down, I went on to search and narrowed it down further to a clover mite (which, while irksome to have discovered in our home, is admittedly far less worrisome than the sort that nosh on animal life). Thanks for the speedy reply!
–Kathy Kubica
PS: The ID file was so small because it was a zero-in crop from an iphone shot. None of our real cameras could focus within the range and flash-glare of the small bathroom paper cup the bug was in. 🙂

Subject: Bugs
Location: Dullstroom, Mpumalanga, South Africa
December 23, 2013 11:48 pm
Trying to find out what this bug is. Found in grasslands against rocks.
Signature: Charl

Possibly Scale Insects

Soft Scale Insects, NOT Planthopper Nymphs

Dear Charl,
If you had only sent one photo, we might have doubted that these were insects because they almost look like fungus.  Providing the view from beneath reveals the tiny legs.  Our first guess is that these must be Planthoppers or some other immature stage in the development of a Hemipteran, an order with many member that secrete a waxy sustance for protection.  We also would not rule out that this might be a larval Sawfly, another group with members known to secrete a waxy protection like this individual from BugGuide.  We have an image from Madagascar that was never properly identified that looks similar, but not exactly like your image.  We suspected those creatures to be Planthopper Nymphs.  There are similar images on the Lonely Traveler Blog that are identified as being Flattid Planthopper Nymps.  An even closer match is the adult female Coconut Mealybug, 
Nipaecoccus nipae, that is pictured on Featured Creatures.  There is also a similar photo of a Coconut Mealybug on the University of Florida IFAS Extension site which indicates it is found in Africa.  While we are not certain of a species identification, we are confident that this is some insect in the order Hemiptera.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide something more definite.

Possibly Unknown Hemipteran

Soft Scale Insect

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so very much for your efforts. Will study further and should I discover anything will let you know.
A merry Christmas to you.
Kind regards,
Charl Strydom.

Update:  December 28, 2013
We just received a comment indicating that this is a Soft Scale Insect in the family Coccidae.

Update:  January 4, 2014
Subject: Insects
Location: Dullstroom, Mpumalanga, South Africa
January 4, 2014 7:41 am
Update to “Mystery Insects from South Africa are Soft Scales” posted 23rd Dec 2013.
Found more and adding photo’s.
Signature: Charl

Soft Scale

Soft Scale

Thanks for sending additional images Charl.

Soft Scale

Soft Scale