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What is it?


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Hi there you budding entomologists. I can't quite figure this little group out! They stick together peacefully, milling about like a herd of gentle four-legged animals. I did not see them fly. The closest I can come by looks in my insect handbooks (have not taken time for Google), is flying aphids (seems too big) or related to cricket/katydid family (head is similar but not the rest). I've not seen this sort of winged insect before. Found in the morning on a gray and mild day.


What is it?





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Hi Janel,


I'll try this one...


From the look of the picture it looks like piercing/sucking mouthparts, so I would say a member of the aphid family.


Insect order: Homoptera [homo + ptera = same + wings]


Common name: aphids, plant lice, cicadas, scale insects, whiteflies, mealybugs, leafhoppers, treehoppers, froghoppers, spittle bugs, lanternflies, planthoppers, psyllids.


Gradual life cycle: egg, nymph (some born live), adult (some wingless).


Mouthparts: piercing-sucking


Food: plant cells or sap


Numbers: 7,500 species in North America; 700 in Minnesota.


Characteristic features: often under 1/8th inch long (cicadas over 1 ½ inches), beaked with oblong with wings, when present, fold roof-like over back, all of front wing of same texture; scale insects and mealybugs either elliptical, round, or oyster-shell shaped, often with “cottony†wax filaments or secretions.


Special features: many produce sticky and sweet honeydew, some used to make dyes and shellac, many can hop, scale insects hidden under secreted wax covering, cicadas produce high, tinny buzz.


Common encounters: houseplants, garden plants, especially growing plants and seedlings.



But I would defer to someone with more experience than I.


Jeff :(

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