Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WHAT Is That Bug On My Butterfly Weed?

 This is an immature acanalonia or leaf hopper .. a nymph. While looking at my butterfly weed plant I noticed a piece of dandelion fluff. I thought it looked beautiful in the sunlight and thought about taking a picture of it. As I moved in for the picture I noticed this little bump on the stem right next to the fluff. The bump appeared to be looking at me ... I got closer and then a little closer and took a few pictures of the little creature completely forgetting about the dandelion fluff. The fluff appeared to be attached to the creature. I thought the poor thing was stuck. Turns out that the fluff is this nymph's waste. After researching and figuring out that this was an immature leaf hopper, I learned that they eat sap from many different kinds of plants. The extra water and sugar they don't need streams out the rear end of the bug like dandelion fluff.. how weird is that! It just walks around with a stream of fluff attached to its rear end.

I ended up finding three of them upon closer inspection. This little poser and two more on a leaf. Funny what you see when you hone in and focus on something. I walk past glancing at things all day long and probably miss alot of really interesting tiny details. Researching and learning a little something about this creature was fun. Now I hope to see one in adult form. Very intriguing to me .. a mystery unfolding in my yard as I wait to turn the page and see the next chapter or stage of this awesome little creature.

Take some time to enjoy 
the little things throughout 
your day today and see 
where they may lead you.


  1. This is marvelous, Debbie! It's always fun to find something new to learn about. I don't believe I have ever seen one of these before. We have so many butterfly weed plants at our property in Indiana. I will have to give them a closer look in search of leaf hoppers. A wonderful surprise for you! Terrific photographs, as always!

  2. Super close ups Debbie of this tiny critter. Just goes to show what you might find when you poke around under plants ... it's another world.

  3. Wonderful close-ups Debbie - I love finding new critters on the plants and flowers myself.