Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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I.D. Please
Location: Durban ; South Africa
September 18, 2011 1:24 am
These little guys are between 0.5mm and 2mm in size. They live along with along with black aphids on ”sacred basil” plants and dandelions.Its now spring in our part of the world.
Any idea what they are – I am thinking possibly some type of scale insect
Many thanks
P.S. Permission granted for all non commercial use.
Signature: Russ

Unknown Hemipterans

Hi Russ,
We disagree with your identification of Scale Insects, however, we believe you have the order Hemiptera correct.  In addition to Scale Insects, Hemiptera includes True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers and Aphids.  The individual closest to the camera in your photo appears to have secreted a waxy substance, another characteristic of many members of the order Hemiptera.  We are posting your photo and tagging it as unidentified until we are able to provide you with something more definite.

Many Thanks. I’ve attached a 3rd photo of one with a longer
“tail” (about 2.5mm). I suspect it is all “wax”.

Possibly Coccid

Thanks for the additional photo Russ.  We believe this may be either an Ensign Coccid in the family Ortheziidae, or some closely related family.  We used BugGuide for research, and the site is devoted to North American species.  We will continue to research this.  This photo from BioLib of a European Ensign Coccid supports our theory, but it also appears that the Coccids are more closely related to Scale insects than we originally thought, so your initial suspicion is proving to be more accurate than we admitted.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Neon green bug
Location: Bonita, CA
September 7, 2011 1:22 am
I found this little guy while raking in my front yard today. I’ve seen ones like this hanging out on our tree (a podo carpus) a lot! I think it is a pretty common bug. Maybe some kind of katydid? I have no idea. I was just impressed by the brilliance of the color. Thank you!
Signature: Moose

Torpedo Bug

Hi Moose,
Your insect is one of the Planthoppers in the superfamily Fulgoroidea, and we believe we have correctly identified it as a Torpedo Bug,
Siphanta acuta, based on photos posted to BugGuide.  The BugGuide information page indicates:  “native to Australia, introduced to New Zealand, Hawaii (before 1898), and CA (1983); established in CA” and “in Hawaii, considered a pest of banana, citrus, coffee, guava, macadamia, and many ornamentals; not yet considered a pest in California.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cyclops!? Unicorn!?
Location: Google Maps: -23.436464,-46.746075, no Street View at this location
August 29, 2011 5:57 am
Hi, Bugman, it’s my first entry!
Hey, man I shot some little bugs with a single horn and a something that of course it’s not, but seems to be one single eye.
We can see the abdomen and the true eyes of the cute green immature ones, and they seem to be a cicada with a horn on the back. But the adults have the wings grown so we cannot see they’re body.
They’re brown and seem to be a protuberance in the plant. The ants seem to be atracted by them, but they can not or don’t want to do anything to them. They’re parasiting a bean-like plant we call it ”FEIJÃO ANDU”. They’re abble to jump-and-fly like a gunshot, but they prefer to be immoble all the time. Sorry for the bad english.
Signature: Cesar Crash (Brazil)

Treehoppers and Symbiotic Ants

Hi Cesar,
These are Treehoppers in the family Membracidae, and they are categorized with Cicadas in the superfamily Cicadoidea.  They exude a substance called honeydew that attracts the ants.  If Treehoppers are numerous, their feeding habit of sucking plant nutrients can be injurious to the host.  It is also possible that they might spread a viral disease to the plant host.



What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Deceptively simple.
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.
Many thanks!
Signature: Puzzled.


Hi Svetlana,
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.


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August 26, 2011
Location:  Elyria Canyon Park, Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, California
Several of the Indian Milkweed Plants growing wild in Elyria Canyon Park have serious Milkweed Aphid infestations, and one especially hard hit group of plants is also covered in black Sooty Mold.  See the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resourceswebsite for more information on Sooty Mold.

Indian Milkweed with Sooty Mold

Convergent Lady Beetles, Hippodamia convergens,  have begun to feed off of the Milkweed Aphids, though it seems there are far too many Aphids for the few Lady Beetles that were observed.  Learn how to identify the Convergent Lady Beetle on BugGuide and read more about the benefits of the native Convergent Lady Beetle on the San Francisco State University Department of Geographywebsite.

Convergent Lady Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
August 13, 2011
As we mentioned earlier, we had certain commitments today, and we needed to stop posting early this morning.  We have completed two of our tasks, but the letter for Elizabeth is still not completed.  We did however deal with the Scale insects on the Chinese Elm Bonsai.  This is a small grove of three trees that were raised from seedlings.  About a week ago, we noticed the Argentine ants running up and down one trunk, and we suspected they might have a small colony in the pot, but closer inspection revealed a Scale infestation that was being tended by the Ants.  

Scale Insects

We were concerned that the roots might also be affected and we planned to repot the bonsai.  We started by pruning the branches, and then applied a mixture of chlorine bleach in water, about 1:20, with a tooth brush to remove the scale.  Then we trimmed the roots and replaced the trees into the pot, but with all new soil.  Hopefully, were were not too late to save this sentimental potted grove.  We still need to identify the Scale.

Scale Insects on Chinese Elm

We also need to take a photo of the completed re-potted plants.



What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination