Subject: What am I?
Geographic location of the bug: Andover Township, NJ
Time: 06:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi Daniel,
Hoping you can id this interesting little insect. It looks to me like some type of planthopper maybe, although I’ve never seen one in my garden before today. Length approximately 1/2 inch and it wasn’t moving much. I plucked the flower it was on to get some better shots, expecting that it might fly, but it just stayed in place. Hope these shots are enough to identify it.
How you want your letter signed: Deborah E Bifulco
You are correct that this is a Planthopper, more specifically, a Sharpshooter. Planthoppers are insects that feed by sucking fluids from plants, and some species are known to spread viruses to plants, so they are generally not too welcome in the garden. We quickly identified your Speckled Sharpshooter, Paraulacizes irrorata, thanks to images posted to BugGuide. According to BugGuide food plants include: “Asteraceae: Cirsium altissimum (tall thistle), Cirsium sp., Conyza canadensis (horseweed), Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce), Silphium integrifolium (wholeleaf rosinweed); Poaceae: Elymus virginicus (Virginia wild rye), Sorghum sp. (cultivated sorghum).”
Thank you for the quick id! I never mind having planthoppers in my garden, so he/she is welcome to hang out.