Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"

Subject: Very weird white bugs
Location: San Jose, California, US
October 14, 2013 11:49 am
Hello,
My daughter found those little guys on a bush near our home. Initially I didn’t even recognize them as bugs – they looked that strange. I searched all over the net for ”weird white bugs”, ”white and brown larvae”, and anything else I could think of, but as you can probably guess this didn’t help at all…
Any idea what this might be – can you point me in the right direction?
Regards,
Signature: Alex

Cottony Cushion Scale

Cottony Cushion Scale

Dear Alex,
The good news is we can identify your bug, and the bad news is that you have an infestation of Cottony Cushion Scale.
  For advice on how to control the Cottony Cushion Scale, you can try the UC Davis Integrated Pest Management System where it states:  “Cottony cushion scale, Icerya purchasi, can infest a number of woody ornamentals and certain crops (Figure 1). Common hosts in California are citrus, cocculus, nandina, and pittosporum. Its cottony egg sac and profuse honeydew production make cottony cushion scale easy to spot in the landscape.”

Cottony Cushion Scale

Cottony Cushion Scale

Subject: Treehopper
Location: Central France
October 13, 2013 6:57 am
I took this photo on my terrace in September 2009 and have never known what the bug is. A friend narrowed it down to a tree hopper, but after looking through masses of photos on the web, I cannot find another one like it. Any suggestions? The bug is approximately 2cm in length.
Signature: Jacqueline

Hemipteran

Grand Diable

Hi Jacqueline,
We aren’t fully convinced that this is a Treehopper.  It might be a Leafhopper of some other free-living Hemipteran.  We will attempt to research its identity for you.  Upon searching some more, we found a photo by Melvyn Yeo on Deviant Art that is only identified as a Flat Headed Leafhopper, and it looks very much like your creature, however, there is no scientific name nor is there a location indicated.

Correction Courtesy of Karl
Hi Daniel and Jacqueline:
Your true bug is the rather atypical Leafhopper (Cicadellidae: Ledrinae), Ledra aurita. The common names include Horned Leafhopper, Eared Leafhopper and Grand Diable (in French). Apparently they are most commonly associated with oak trees. Regards.  Karl

Subject: Strange bug group on plant leaves
Location: Massachusetts
October 6, 2013 5:29 pm
Hello there, a plant in my garden has hundreds of these walking orange like bugs with legs in groups on the stem and on the underside of this plant only in my garden, possibly just hatched and it looks like mom is watching over them in one of the pictures ? What bug is this? Thank you
Signature: Bmac in Boston

Oleander Aphids

Oleander Aphids

Hi Bmac,
You have an infestation of Oleander Aphids,
Aphis nerii.  They suck the sap from plants in the dogbane family, including oleander, milkweed and hoya.  These plants have milky sap.  They are also called Milkweed Aphids.  See BugGuide for additional information.  You might want to hose them off the plant as they can cause damage if they are plentiful.

Subject: Strange Looking
Location: San Antonio, TX
September 13, 2013 5:42 pm
Hi Bugman! I have no idea what these are but I found them on my lime tree here in San Antonio, TX. There are about 8 of them in a bunch and only on one branch of the tree. I cut the branch off to prevent a further infestation. Any ideas?
Signature: CuriousDaisy

Cottony Cushion Scale

Cottony Cushion Scale

Dear CuriousDaisy,
These are Cottony Cushion Scale,
Icerya purchasi, and you were wise to remove the branch.  According to BugGuide, it is  “Native to Australia, has spread widely as a crop pest” and “When it first appeared in the w. US it was a major pest of Citrus crops. In CA, around 1889, it was an early success story for biological control by beneficial ladybird beetles (Rodolia cardinalis). (Full story) The control was so successful that in 1893 a Florida nurseryman asked for some of the beneficials to be sent to FL, to test as a control for other scale insects. The scale was included in the shipment as food for the beetles, and thus accidentally introduced to FL citrus.”

Subject: vegetable killing bug
Location: Tustin Ca, Orange county
August 24, 2013 8:23 pm
this bug is killing my vegetable garden ( on an okra plant in picture). what is it and what can I do to get rid of it?
Signature: Curtis

Keel-Backed Treehopper Nymphs

Keel-Backed Treehopper Nymphs

Dear Curtis,
You have an infestation of Keel-Backed Treehopper nymphs,
Antianthe expansa, and they can be very difficult to eradicate once they have gotten established in a garden.  They feed on plants in the family Solanacea which included many garden favorites like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  Okra is in the mallow family and we had not heard of it being a preferred host plant for the Keel-Backed Treehoppers in the past.   There are many online sources for information in this garden pest, including GardenWeb and Am I Bugging You Yet? which is specifically devoted to sightings in Tustin.  The best control is to keep the population in check by looking for adult green Keel-Backed Treehoppers which can fly from garden to garden.  The nymphs tend to feed in groups and they are very aware of potential predators, hiding on the other side of the twig when approached.  These Treehoppers, like other plant feeding Hemipterans, do not damage the plants by chewing.  Rather they suck the nourishing juices from the plants.  Spraying the plants with mild soapy water might help with the problem, but if your plants have already produced their crop, you might be best to remove the plants, being careful to not spread the mobile insects to other areas in your garden.

Subject: pink and yellow treehopper? fly? moth?
Location: Ashland, Virginia
July 30, 2013 10:59 am
hi bugman, I found this pretty, showy little fly on a basil leaf and have had very little luck figuring out what it could be. I searched a number of different keywords but with no true match. it has similar traits to a number of flying insects, mainly it looked like a treehopper to me, but also a bit like a moth. I’m not an expert by any means but feel i have a basic gardeners knowledge of insects in the area; yet this dude left me totally stumped. I love the beautiful deep magenta on the wings and below the head. any ideas?
Signature: kasey

Broadheaded Sharpshooter

Broadheaded Sharpshooter

Hi Kasey,
The Broadheaded Sharpshooter,
Oncometopia orbona, does not always have this lovely magenta coloration, but there is a matching image on BugGuide that illustrates the magenta form.

thank you! I wouldn’t have even known to search for that term. how interesting!