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So for context, this is a bug I found on the leaf of one of my young ginger plants, which I found a few days after watering. I have a few other tropical plants next to it, like a vanilla bean orchid -- which has the original soil from the garden store, unlike the ginger. (No bugs on the orchid btw).

The bug I found is a small (around the size of a pencil tip) jumping beetle. When I put it on a piece of tape to take a picture, it bends the end of its abdomen over its back so much that it is almost folding.It is also the only one on the plant that I found.

Some photos below (sorry about the poor quality):

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desc here

bug could go back a bit more btw

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  • $\begingroup$ hard to say from the photos; could you do ones which aren't washed out? $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Nov 28, 2023 at 8:03
  • $\begingroup$ Where are they from? $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2023 at 8:51
  • $\begingroup$ @bob1 What do you mean by "washed out"? Do you mean the brightness/contrast of the photo? If so, I don't have any like that, because unfortunately this was the best I could do with my crappy phone camera. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 5:01
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    $\begingroup$ @bathyscapher I'm not sure where the plants are from, but I live in central Canada. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 5:02
  • $\begingroup$ Great, thank you. The location is usually more important than the origin of the plants (but latter sometimes might help as well) :) $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 7:49

2 Answers 2

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These are clearly the larvae of the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, to whom cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, planthoppers, and spittlebugs belong:

  • the have an (usually) elongated body shape, often with a triangularish abdomen which is often bent up at the tail
  • they have a well-developed, sclerotized pronotum
  • they have characteristic piercing-sucking mouthparts located on the front of the head used for feeding on plant sap
  • they usually have relatively short antennae
  • their eyes are well-developed and positioned laterally on the head
  • their legs are adapted for jumping, with hind legs being particularly muscular
  • as hemimetabolous insects, their larvae lack wings and their segemented bodies are visible all around their abdomen

These characteristics can be seen here in this (german) labeled image of an adult Neophilaenus lineatus (image credits: Elke Freese | CC-BY-SA-2.5,2.0,1.0:

labeled Neophilaenus lineatus

All these characteristics match well, therefore I conclude they must at least be Auchenorrhyncha. But even more, it is possible to identify them as leafhoppers (Cicadellidae):

  • both adults and larvae, have a slender and elongated body shape
  • usually, they are small insects (few mm to around 1.5 cm)
  • they have each pair of compound eyes and of dot eyes (ocelli) on the top or front of the head
  • the thickened part of the antennae is very short and ends with a bristle (the so-called arista)
  • the femora are at front with, at most, weak spines.
  • the (mostly squarish) hind tibiae have one or more distinct keels, with a row of movable spines on each (so-called setae)
  • the tarsi have three segments
  • the front wings not particularly thickened.

Here is a close-up of a leafhopper larvae (image credits: Patrick_K59 | CC-BY-2.0) depicting most of the named characteristics:

Cicadellidae larvae

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the help! Just to add something too, it looks like leafhoppers (especially the larvae) curl the end of their abdomen like what I was seeing $\endgroup$ Nov 30, 2023 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, some species do curl their abdomen. $\endgroup$ Nov 30, 2023 at 8:06
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I think this is a springtail which lays it's eggs in young plant and moist soil and as you said, It bended it's abdomen by placing it on tape ,when they are stimulated ,they open their hidden tail known as furcula to save themselves from predator. I hope it is enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I think that is right. I searched a bit for some coloured springtails, and I found one that looks somewhat close, at least in terms of legs and hair (and that it is a springtail with a pattern; I haven't heard of that before): Entomobrya nivalis (tinyurl.com/4xs3rsse) $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ Also, is the furcula the thing that looks like another leg, but singular, in the right side of the insect's body, on the first picture? $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 5:16

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