06.30.2021 What is and what will be

Sounds almost biblical but it’s only another insect post. I spotted this little bit of fluff on an elderberry leaf in our yard and, at first, thought it a wooly aphid. But with some research on the larger image realized it was a Citrus Flatid Planthopper nymph-Metcalfa pruinosa. I’ve never photographed that aphid so was a little disappointed but this is a cute little bugger so am happy with the image.  Look at that eye and the cottony tail end.

Of course, as it is nymph season there isn’t an adult around to photograph so here is a shot from a few years ago of an adult.

These are relatively harmless and are not host specific although, as the name implies, do favor citrus trees. In some locations they can cause problems with citrus crops but don’t represent a plague. I am not sure what in my yard attracts them specifically but we have none of their namesakes.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, macro photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to 06.30.2021 What is and what will be

  1. picpholio says:

    It looks a bit alien in the first shot.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ms. Liz says:

    Add a horn and it’d be a pretty unicorn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Todd Henson says:

    Another example of something I always marvel at in nature, how different the young can be from adults. I can see the similarities in the front half, but that back half?!?! It’s like the nymph was pulled off a clump of cotton candy. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Imagine if human children were as cottony as that nymph, and as ghostly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, were they actually in the company of their mother they would be beautiful in their gaze just as we are to ours. Of course, insect parents never see their young…at least not at birth. I wonder if they would recognize them. And some adults die before the young are born as well. Mysteries.


  5. shoreacres says:

    I could cotton to this one. It’s cute as can be, if a little odd.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mike Powell says:

    Great shots, Steve. I had to look really closely at that fluffy first photo to figure out what I was looking at.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter Klopp says:

    You learn something every day. Your little critter is truly a curious insect. Great macro, Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the fluffy tail but ‘cute’? Great captures and detail!


  9. They are handsome in a ghostly kind of way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Eliza Waters says:

    No citrus here, that’s for sure! Kind of cute little monster. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful little critters, Steve! Great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Leya says:

    Wonderful both – and the fluff is gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very nice Steve! That is one “cool” looking bug!

    Liked by 1 person

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