Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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Subject: Unidentified insect – white w/ black dots, wings
Location: Port Arthur, TX
November 29, 2012 10:29 pm
Every day I take several trips to my backyard to check the pool for any insects or spiders that may have fallen in. Today (11-29-2012) I found this little insect which is one I have never seen before. I’ve tried doing a bit of investigating on my own, but this has me stumped.
Signature: Casey B

Giant Bark Aphid

Hi Casey,
According to BugGuide, the Giant Bark Aphid,
Longistigma caryae, is:  ” the largest aphid in North America with adults averaging about 1/4 inch long. They also have long legs which makes them appear even larger. Males and some females are winged but egg laying females are wingless.”  The host trees, according to BugGuide, are:  “American elm, pin oak, live oak, post oak, blackjack oak, pecan, hickory, sycamore, and golden rain tree. Other trees which might be infested include maple, basswood, birch, beech, walnut, chestnut, and willow.”

Giant Bark Aphid

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daniel – More Bugs on Mexican Milkweed
Location: Hawthorne, CA
November 29, 2012 11:42 am
I know this photo is blurry, but I found these eggs on the back of one of the Mexican Milkweed leaves the other morning. There were three or four of those little gray bugs there at the same time. All but one left before I got the camera out and focused(?). Any idea what they are?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Hemipteran Hatchling

Hi Anna,
The insect in the lower left corner appears to belong to the order Hemiptera which includes True Bugs as well as Hoppers.  Hatchlings are often quite difficult to identify to the species level.  This critter looks to us to be one of the Hoppers, though we cannot be certain.

Hi Daniel,
That’s what I was afraid of.  Oh, well.  Guess we have to take some of the bad along with the good, eh?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug in playground sandpit
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
November 12, 2012 11:15 pm
My daughter and I found this bug in the sand at our local playground (Gold Coast, Australia).
Do you know what it is?
Thank you
Signature: Bruce & Brooke

Snow Ball Large Mealybug

Dear Bruce & Brooke,
This really is an unusual insect.  It sure looks primitive and perhaps it is larval.  We will post it as unidentified and try to do additional research.  Perhaps one of our readers will have a clue as to its identity.

Snow Ball Large Mealy Bug

Update:  November 13, 2012
Thanks to a comment from fiferworks, we now know that this is a Snow Ball Large Mealybug,
Monophlebulus sp., which can be found on the Brisbane Insect Website.  It seems this individual has lost its white cottony coating.  We verified the identification using the Encyclopedia of Life.

Karl supplies a thorough comment.
Hi Daniel, Bruce & Brooke:
Sorry about all the links in this one Daniel, but if all goes well I may be able to help clear up several mysteries, new and old.  I believe this is a Giant Mealybug (a.k.a. Giant Coccid or Ground Pearl) in the family Margorodidae. The genus is probably Monophlebulus and the common name appears to be Snow Ball Giant Mealy Bug or Snow Ball Large Mealybug. I was fairly certain that it had appeared on your site before but it took a while to find it as it had been identified tentatively as a ‘Giant Scale Insect’ (family not given) by Eric Eaton. Margorodids, along with true Scale Insects (Coccidae) and several other similar families all belong to the same Superfamily (Coccoidea) so I suppose they are all Scale Insects of a sort, but it does get a little confusing. It was posted by Kimberly and it appears to be the same as this recent posting. In the response to Kimberly’s post you linked to a previous and similar submission by Ridou Ridou, also tentatively identified as a Giant Scale Insect due to its similarity to Kimberly’s bug. I think this one was a different species of Giant Mealybug in the same genus, Monophlebulus. In one of the comments attached to Ridou Ridou’s post, rhoz identified the family Margorodidae and the genus Monophlebulus, although he spelled it slightly differently and seems to be referring to a bug that sounds more similar to the ones posted by Kimberly and Bruce & Brooke. These bugs are quite mobile as evidenced by this wonderful video I came across. One site that I checked out indicated that males of the genus have wings and can fly, in which case these may be all females. I hope this isn’t too confusing. Regards.  Karl

That’s wonderful, thank you Daniel.
What a great experience!  Within hours of finding a bug and having no idea what it was, we have an answer.   We are very fortunate to have the luxury of the internet and the valuable participation of websites like yours.
We’re now keen to get out there and find more bugs!
Keep up the good work and thanks again.
Bruce and Brooke


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug ID
Location: North Suburban Boston
October 24, 2012 10:57 am
I was in the backyard photographing spiders when I found this colorful creature on a leaf.
9am, 9/23/12, suburban backyard, length is about 3mm.
I only got this one angle on the creature.
Signature: Tom

Candystriped Leafhopper

Dear Tom,
The Candystriped Leafhopper, though it is a lovely insect, is considered a problematic species that can suck fluids from tender plant shoots.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: Fremantle Western Australia
October 8, 2012 9:59 pm
can you please help with the ID of this bug.
It is from the S/W of Western Australia, Spring time.
It is about 10mm long, slow moving.

Horned Treehopper nymph

Hi Rob,
We are very rarely so puzzled by a submission that we cannot pin down an order.  This is undoubtedly a nymph, the immature phase of an insect with incomplete metamorphosis.  We suspect it is likely a Hemipteran, a member of the order with sucking mouthparts that includes True Bugs and Cicadas, but it doesn’t resemble any nymph we have seen before.  The Brisbane Insect website will be a great place to begin searching.  The closest match we can find would indicate it might be a Horned Treehopper nymph in the family Membracidae based on the large photo on family page on the Brisbane Insect Website which is identified as the Acacia Treehopper.  While we don’t believe that is your species, the nymphs pictured on the Brisbane Insect website of the Acacia Treehopper,
Sextius virescens, look quite similar to your specimen.

Treehopper nymph

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the detailed answer, I am very happy with this as I had no idea where to start with this one. Please pass on my thanks to your team.
Robert Keen
Supervisor, Horticulture
Parks and Gardens
Curtin University

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tiny Bugs All over swingset and willow tree
Location: Kalkaska, MI
September 12, 2012 5:43 pm
We recently noticed these tiny black bugs that seem to have an orangish redish color on there legs all over our wooden swingset and also recently discovered them all over our willow tree as well, I have never seen these bugs before and wonder if they cause any harm
Signature: Jessica L.

Giant Willow Aphids

Hi Jessica,
You have Giant Willow Aphids,
Tuberolachnus salignus and we verified the identification on BugGuide.  Aphids are considered significant agricultural pests, especially when they are numerous, but any harm they might cause would be to your willow tree, not to you or your swing set, though we imagine they are a bit of a nuisance on the swing set.

Giant Willow Aphid

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination