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

Subject:  Bug (moth?) identification
Geographic location of the bug:  SE Pennsylvania
Date: 08/27/2018
Time: 11:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have never seen this bug before in our yard and I would appreciate if you can identify it.
Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  Andrei N.

Spotted Lanternfly

Dear Andrei,
This is an invasive Spotted Lanternfly,
Lycorma delicatula, a species introduced to Pennsylvania from Asia several years ago.  According to BugGuide:  “Native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam; invasive in Korea and in our area. Currently (2018) known from 6 counties in PA; also found in DE, NY, VA” and “SIGHTING REPORTS WANTED: Experts are working to delimit the current population and find new infestations of this species. Please report sightings on the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture website.  earliest NA record: PA 2014.”  This is a winged adult.  Nymphs are wingless and may have bright red coloration.  You should report your sighting to help prevent the Spotted Lanternfly from spreading further in North America.  

Spotted Lanternfly

Hello Daniel,
Thank you. I will alert the PA Dept. of Agriculture.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Interesting bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Michigan
Date: 08/20/2018
Time: 11:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello bugman!
Can you tell me what this bug is? We seem to have an infestation outside and I am a bit worried about our small children and pets. Can you help me?   Thanks for your time in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Megan O’Dell

Black Willow Aphid

Dear Megan,
Your image lacks critical clarity, but we were convinced these were Giant Aphids in the subfamily Lachninae, though BugGuide does not picture any individuals with the bright orange tubercles on the individuals in your image.  We then located an image of the Black Willow Aphid,
Pterocomma salicis, on Influential Points where it states:  “The black willow bark aphid forms dense colonies on two-year-old twigs and wands of willow (Salix spp.). It is usually attended by ants. Apterous males and oviparae occur in October-November. It is widely distributed in Europe and Asia and has been introduced into North America.”  The Black Willow Aphid is also pictured on BugGuide.  We believe that is a correct ID.  Do you have a nearby willow tree?

Thank you very much for getting back to me. It was hard to get a good picture of the bugs up close.  Sorry 🙁
We do have two huge willow trees.  Are they a danger to the trees?  I have never seen them in any previous years and I have been here my whole life.  I worry if they are eating away at the trees, the trunks are probably 4ft in diameter and would crush our house.
Thank you again for the advise and information!
Megan O’Dell
Hi again Megan,
Aphids feed by sucking fluids from plants, generally on the tender tips of branches, so they will not be eating the trunks of your trees.


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