Bug

Asked August 9, 2018, 8:32 PM EDT

I found a beautiful insect on the leaf of my hydrangea plant this evening. I am hoping someone can help me to identify it. I am attaching two photos that I took-one close up and one to show its scale (the insect is on a leaf at the bottom center of the second photo). Thank you in advance for any insight!

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

That is an insect called a red-banded leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea). It belongs to a group of leafhoppers called sharpshooters (Subfamily Coccinelinae). The name sharpshooter comes from their ability to fling droplets of honeydew great distances. A video of the behavior can be found here: https://youtu.be/aFiJNThjmyY.
Leafhoppers (including sharpshooters) feed on plants by inserting a long tube-like mouthpart into the tissue and extracting the sap. One of these feeding on your plants here and there is probably nothing to worry about, although they can transmit diseases from plant to plant.