|Wooly aphid - Mark Bower|
|Before removing some fluff|
These are plant sucking "true bugs" (Hemiptera). Many species have only one specific host plant or alternate generations between two different species. The fluffy larvae feed on the plants and the adults fly to new locations with their eggs to start a new family. Their slow wandering flight has earned them names such as "angel flies" and "fluff bugs." Once back out in the sun my specimens took off, slightly lighter but presumably still egg-laden.
|Underside view - George Hoffman|
This was a little embarrassing as the last blog mentioned lacewing larvae decorating their back, but the green lacewing examples I had found were brown. Once again color isn't everything. Now Ilona has introduced me to a great resource, Bugguide's 14 pages of Debris-Carrying Larvae photographs. Good hunting!
Woolly Aphids from Charley Eiseman
This debris-carrying is nothing new. Evidence of it millions of years ago is preserved in amber as discussed in National Geographic.