Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  ID required
Geographic location of the bug:  Manu Wildlife Centre, Peru.
Date: 08/10/2018
Time: 07:48 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This little critter, about the size of my little finger nail, was busily making its way along a wooden railing. Any large ants it encountered got out of its way but tiny ants didn’t. In fact one if them seemed to nick a piece of the white stuff that the insect was carrying, presumably as some sort of disguise.
How you want your letter signed:  Pat

Planthopper Nymph

Dear Pat,
This is a Planthopper nymph, probably in the family Fulgoridae, and nymphs can be very difficult to identify with certainty.  Here is an image on Reddit Awwnverts that is similar and an image on Jeff Cremer Photo for comparison.  Many Planthoppers secrete a waxy substance for protection and some have a symbiotic relationship with Ants.

Thanks, Daniel. Another example of the wonderful diversity and ingenuity of nature.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  egg or pupa on milkweed
Geographic location of the bug:  Azle, Tx
Date: 08/01/2018
Time: 12:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found several of these on my milkweed which was also infested with aphids.  Please help me identify this creature.
How you want your letter signed:  Joanne

Hover Fly Pupa and Oleander Aphid (at far right)

Dear Joanne,
This is the pupa of a beneficial Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, and while in the larval stage, they feed voraciously on Aphids.  Adult Hover Flies are also excellent pollinators that mimic stinging wasps and bees, though they are perfectly harmless to humans.  We located a matching image on BugGuide, and there is also a small image at the bottom of the Bugs and Critters in my Florida Back Yard blog.

Thank you!  Do you know if Hover Flies are harmful to Monarch caterpillars?

Hi aganin Joanne.  They are not harmful to Monarch caterpillars.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Smart Tail
Geographic location of the bug:  Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 03:13 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
I have a pepper plant that some aphids infested. I took it outside in hopes of some ladybugs would predate them. I checked on the plant the next day, and the aphids were still there, but very docile.  I also noticed this weird bug on the bottom with the aphids.  It didn’t move at all when I turned the leaf over and examined it. I then pinched the leaf off the plant and placed the leaf on the porch to examine the bug better. It then moved very, VERY quickly to the top of the leaf, which was now facing the porch and therefore shady. I flipped the leaf over again, and the bug continuously sought shade.  It used its tail-abdomen in a very intellectual way; it seemed like it used its tail the way a monkey would, to grasp and hold onto things. It had six paper-thin legs and surprisingly long pincer-like mouthparts.  Its body appeared translucent and the colors are actually the organs. I think it may be the larval stage of some insect. It was about three aphids in length.  I didn’t want to capture it and possibly kill an unknown species, so I returned the leaf to the pot and rested it on the edge. I examined the plant the next day and all the aphids were gone, as well as the unknown bug. I don’t want to assume that the bug ate all the aphids, but something definitely ate everything because there was nothing left. I have not seen any aphids on the plant since nor have I seen this weird little guy.  Can you help me out in identifying this bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Kayla

Aphid Wolf

Dear Kayla,
Your observations and deductions are fascinating.  Your assumption that this Lacewing Larva, commonly called an Aphid Wolf, ate the Aphids is most likely correct.  Though Lady Beetles are most commonly thought of as Aphid predators, Lacewings, both adult and larval, and Flower Fly larvae are probably more effective at controlling Aphids.

Lacewing Larva (right side) with Aphids

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black insect with white spots
Geographic location of the bug:  Southeastern Pennsylvania
Date: 06/20/2018
Time: 03:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found these on my azalea. We live in the woods and have never seen anything like it. It doesn’t seem to have a hard shell like a beetle but maybe it’s in the early stages of life.
How you want your letter signed:  Nikki

Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs

Dear Nikki,
These are Spotted Lanternfly nymphs, an invasive species recently introduced from Asia.

Comment from Annette on Facebook:  OP, you need to report this. I don’t condone killing insects, but this one is a threat to our state. Google what to do if you find spotted lanternfly.

Update:  Report sightings to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Thank you for the quick response! I’ve seen them in their full grown state and should’ve figured it was them with the spots. I’ll take care of the destroying and reporting. Have a great day!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Pool rescue
Geographic location of the bug:  Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Date: 06/19/2018
Time: 06:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I pulled this cheerful little critter out of my pool today (June 19). It spent 15 minutes cleaning the water off itself and another 15 crawling around on my hand since rescue. I would love to know what it is.
I have never had a pool before and I swear I spend as much time rescuing bugs and spiders, and watching them after, as I do swimming!
How you want your letter signed:  Stephanie in PA

Dogwood Spittlebug

Dear Stephanie,
Because of your bug rescue program, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  This is a Dogwood Spittlebug,
Clastoptera proteus, which we identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Common on dogwood and Vaccinium in the Midwest.”  Spittlebugs are so called because the nymphs secrete a frothy substance that acts as a refuge and the substance resembles spittle.

Dogwood Spittlebug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black bugs with white spots on pepper plants
Geographic location of the bug:  Reading, PA
Date: 06/15/2018
Your letter to the bugman:  I am finding these bugs all over my tomato and pepper plants. They are also all over the front of my house. I can’t seem to find them online. Could you identify them
How you want your letter signed:  Ron Zeiber

Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs

Dear Ron,
The moment we read your subject line, we surmised you are being troubled by immature Spotted Lanternflies,
Lycorma delicatula, and your image proved us correct.  The Spotted Lanternfly is an Invasive Exotic species first reported in North America in 2014.  According to BugGuide:  “Native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam; invasive in Korea and in our area(1). Currently (2018) known from 6 counties in PA; also found in DE, NY, VA.”  According to the Government of Canada website:  “The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) is an impressive and colourful insect native to Asia, and has been recognised as a potential threat to the grape, fruit tree and forestry industries in Canada. It was first detected in North America in Pennsylvania in September 2014. As it is not known to exist in Canada, spotted lanternfly was added to the regulated pest list in 2018 in an effort to prevent the introduction from infested areas. Early detection activities would make managing the pest easier due to the discovery of this insect in the United States and the volume of articles potentially carrying the insect arriving from Asia. It can be distinguished from all other native and naturalized insects (such as planthoppers, moths) in Canada by its unique colouration. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination