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

Subject: Unknown Beetle
Location: SW Indiana
July 2, 2013 6:31 pm
This is about 1/2 the size of a pea. It was sitting on a branch in the bush outside my front door. on 2 July. I thought it was a spider at first. Not sure what the ’cotton’ is coming out the rear. It did fly off.
Signature: jim

Planthopper Nymph

Planthopper Nymph

Hi Jim,
This is not a beetle.  It is the nymph of a Planthopper or Treehopper, a freeliving Hemipteran.  We will attempt to provide a species identification in the future.

Subject: ants collecting honeydew from aphids
Location: Niagara, Ontario, Canada
July 1, 2013 6:05 pm
Hello there,
I came across these very busy ants on the weekend. While I knew they collected the sweet secretions from aphids (which I have heard called ”honeydew”), I had never actually seen them in the process. Hopefully in this photo you can make out the aphids and the ants coming and going. This was at the top of a fair-sized thistle. Anyway, I thought you might like it for your collection.
Signature: Alison

Ants and Aphids

Ants and Aphids

Hi Alison,
We don’t know what species of Ant nor Aphid you have.  We are rather fond, though, of the common name often given to Aphids of Ant Cows.

Subject: bright red and blue bug
Location: DeKalb, IL
June 29, 2013 10:05 am
This little guy is sitting on a sunflower leaf in DeKalb, IL. Photo taken Saturday, June 29.
Signature: Jeff

Candystriped Leafhopper

Candystriped Leafhopper

Dear Jeff,
This colorful creature is a Candystriped Leafhopper,
Graphocephala coccinea.  Though they are quite lovely, Candystriped Leafhoppers are members of a family that are generally not that welcome in the garden.  They are in the order Hemiptera, a group of insects with piercing and sucking mouthparts.  The Candystriped Leafhopper will such the nourishing fluids from plants.  While we do not know the specifics on this particular species, BugGuide does indicate on the family page that:  “nymphs and adults feed on sap of above-ground stems or leaves of plants; some species are more host-specific than others” and “Several species are serious crop pests; some transmit plant pathogens (viruses, mycoplasma-like organisms, etc.)”  We doubt that Candystriped Leafhoppers are ever plentiful enough to present a problem in the home garden.

Subject: Red and yellow bugs
Location: Southwestern Ohio
June 11, 2013 3:09 pm
I found the little yellow and red bugs on the underside of the leaves on my tulip trees. I just noticed them today. Most of the leaves are covered in these little suckers. I live in southwestern Ohio.
Signature: MrsH1978

Aphids

Aphids

Dear MrsH1978,
You really do have little suckers.  These are Aphids and they have sucking mouthparts that they use to suck the juices from plants.  Spraying the plants with soapy water is a natural way to help control their numbers.

Aphids

Aphids


Subject: Found at work
Location: Victoria, Melbourne
May 22, 2013 8:39 pm
Hi, just wondering if anyone knows what this is please?
Signature: Kim

Snowball Large Mealybug

Giant Snowball Mealybug

Hi Kim,
The first time we received a photo of a Snowball Large Mealybug in the genus
Monophlebulus, we had no idea what it was as it looked so very primitive, and Eric Eaton eventually identified it as a Giant Scale Insect.  Several years later when we received another photo, we learned that the Snow Ball Large Mealybug in the genus Monophlebulus at which time Karl who frequently contributes to our site did some wonderful research.  There is a nice photo on Life Unseen and the Brisbane Insect Website has some marvelous photo of members of this genus with the white cottony covering found on so immature Hemipterans.  We have taken the liberty of making the grammatically confusing common name more acceptable by using the compound word and moving the adjective in front of the noun:  Giant Snowball Mealybug has a much better ring to it.  As Karl noted in the previous posting, Ground Pearl is a name for the encysted nymph that is noted on the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Department of Entomology Ornamentals and Turf page.  

Subject: bug I found in my front yard
Location: foothills of NC
May 15, 2013 8:03 am
I found these little beetle looking bugs in the foothills of NC. I have never seen them before.
Signature: melissa

Oak Treehopper Nymphs

Oak Treehopper Nymphs

Hi Melissa,
These are immature Oak Treehoppers,
Platycotis vittata.  According to BugGuide:  “Hatching occurs in Spring in the South, and in late Spring in the North. Larva pass through five instars, and adults and larva form aggregations along oak twigs of up to 100 individuals. Females seem to exhibit protective behavior, keeping predators away from the young.”