I took this picture in central Mexico. The insect is about 1mm in size. I found lots of these dead on a desk, so many that at first I thought they were just dust. I assume they came from a plant that was above the desk.


Does anyone know what it might be?


I found the culprit walking nearby! I guess that verifies what others pointed out: It seems to be the molted cuticle of an aphid. (sorry for the poor quality of the pictures)

Thanks a lot!

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Since you suggest they come from a plant, they might be dried aphids. These insects usually feed on plant sap, and I already noticed some tiny, white, and apparently dead ones on plants.

As suggested in the comments, these are actually not dead aphids, but only the cuticle they leave after moulting, or ecdysis.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Aphids shed skin, maybe this is simply an abandoned exoskeleton? $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 12:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Agree with Alex that this is the shell of an aphid. A quick search for aphid ecdysis returns this picture: footage.framepool.com/shotimg/qf/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 18:30

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