Subject: Type of green bug?
Location: San Gabriel valley area
November 27, 2013 2:23 pm
We found about 20 of these bugs (about a quarter of an inch long) among some tomato plants. At first we thought we’d come across ladybug larvae but saw that the casings actually had ”spiky things” (as my 6-year old called it) coming out of them. It’s not until we examined the casings further that we saw these green bugs among the tomato stalks.
My son asked what types of bugs they were (I’m pretty good at identifying most bugs) but this one had me stumped. I thought it was some type of leaf cutter bug, but when I looked it up, all I found were Leaf Cutter Ants.
The Keelbacked Treehopper, Antianthe expansa, is a significant garden pest on tomato and other plants in the family, including eggplant and peppers. The spiny insects you describe are the immature nymphs. Both adults and nymphs have piercing mouthparts adapted to sucking nutrient rich fluids from the plants.