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

2 pictures for you
Neat website! I take macro photos (mostly of spiders and insects) here in Denver, Colorado and have a little bug that is ubiquitous in our yard. Every step I take in the lawn, generates hundreds of these little jumping bugs. The blue background on the first photo is a standard pair of blue jeans, so the weave should give a sense of scale. I tried to find out what it was, but came up short. Do you know what it is?
Rachel Drummond

Hi Rachel,
This is some species of immature Leafhopper in the Family Cicadellidae. They suck the juices from plants.

Update: (01/11/2007) bug images on WTB
Dear Bugman,
I enjoyed visiting your site. It really doesn’t compete with, since you have posted lots of foreign insects that they bar from that site. For example, you have some really nice photos of the primitive treehopper Aetalion (which is tropical). I thought you might like to know about the following:
(5) The “leafhopper nymph” is actually a short-winged (brachypterous) leafhopper, Doratura stylata that is common on lawns. It has been introduced to North America from Europe.
Thanks for helping to spread an interest in Homoptera. We need to encourage the amateur.
Andy Hamilton

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug on my night blooming jasmin
Hi there,
I came across your site, and being a novice gardener, thought I would inquire as to whether or not you could identify this bug. They are propagating on my night blooming jasmine. I live in Southern California. Thanks!

Hi Michele,
You have nymphs from some species of Treehopper. They are destructive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Whats this bug?
The leaves of my Norway Maple are filled with these. A friend tells me they are Mealy Bugs but they are unlike any Mealy Bug I have ever seen or have been able to Identify. The white mass is approx. 1/4 – 3/8 inches long and has what appears to b a brown scale like "cap" at one end. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Hi Alan,
You have a type of Cottony Scale insect from the genus Pulvinaria whose members are characterized by a naked adult female (the scale) who excretes a large cottony egg-sac beneath or behind her body. The Maple-Leaf Pulvinaria, Pulvinaria acericola is found on maple leaves which your photo beautifully illustrates. You might want to try to control the outbreak by checking with a local nursery.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what is this??
i just noticed several of these on my rose bush, what the heck is it…it looks like an egg over-easy

You have Rose Scale, Aulacaspis rosae. According to Compton: “This species infests the stems of roses, blackberry, raspberry, dewberry, and some other plants. The infested stems often become densely coated with the scales. The scale of the female is circular, snowy white, with the exuviae light yellow and upon one side.” Your photo shows a solitary female. Get rid of her before she reproduces and infests your bushes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Great site!
I have been searching for hours to try to find out what this bug is that has taken over one of my butterfly weed plants. Should I worry about it infesting the rest of my garden? I was reading some of the other posts and this is such a great resource for curious folks like me! Hope you can help me identify this bug.
Thanks, Timlie Reis
Gulf Coast Mississippi

Hi Timlie,
You have Aphids. These pests can easily infest many types of plants. You have some winged sexual adults which mate in the typical manner. They then produce generations of female aphids which do not need a mate, but can give live birth without the help of a male. The aphids then become very plentiful. They damage plants by sucking the juices from new growth. They are uaually very host plant specific but other aphids are more general feeders. You can easily eliminate them or at least contro them with diligent daily hosing. Use a strong spray to wash them away. You can also spray them with soapy water. It clogs their breathing aparatus and causes them to drown.

This is an additional comment relating to the milkweed in Temile’s photo. It was a milkweed plant which is the host plant for a number of butterflies, including monarchs. Your advice about using soapy water to rid it of aphids was correct but would also kill off butterfly eggs, caterpillars & chrysalises. A strong stream of water will also wash off eggs, caterpillars and possibly chrysalises. There is hope, however! The natural predator for the aphids is the lady beetle. My experience is that lady beetles usually come along about 2 weeks after the start of an aphid infestation. If the infestation is not overwhelming I usually leave the aphids for the lady beetles. The lady beetles may also lay eggs and the larva will devour the aphids. But if my plants are overwhelmed by aphids or there are caterpillars feeding which need the leaves right away I control by carefully hand-squishing aphids (while they’re still on the stems & leaves) until the lady beetles show up. Yech! But having monarchs around the yard all year is worth it. You do a fabulous job!
Kathleen Scott

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

on my eggplant
These bugs are freaking me out! They are crawling up my eggplant plants. As you can see, they look like double decker armored ants. They are with an ant in this photo and they seem to live peacefully with the ants except that I don’t know what’s happening with that ant which looks a little like it is in midair and I’m not sure why. The plants have ants on them too. I am scared of these bugs! Should I be? Will they eat the eggplants? I finally have a couple eggplants on the plants and I am looking forward to eating them myself and I don’t want to share with weird looking bugs.
Please advise.
Lisa in Los Angeles

Dear Lisa,
You have immature Keelbacked Treehoppers, Antianthe expansa, which often infest eggplants and other solanaceous plants like tomatoes and peppers. They will not eat your eggplants, but they will suck the juices from the plant stems. Treehoppers are related to aphids and also have a symbiotic relationship with ants. The Treehoppers secrete honeydew from their anuses and the ants love to lap up the sweet treat. The immature Keelbacked Treehoppers are quite spiny and can pinch. The adults are green and winged. When they feed on the plant juices with their sucking mouthparts, they sometimes spread viruses to the plants. They are injurious and should be eliminated from the garden either with soapy water, or our favorite method, squashing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination