A Selection of Bugs
Arizona's Sycamore Canyons

Water in the arid and semiarid regions of Arizona is often concentrated along narrow canyons draining from the high mountains. With a great variety of plants these riparian corridors support a great diversity of insects. To a casual observer all arthropods get lumped together as bugs. Entomologists, however, as insects possessing piercing-sucking mouthparts, gradual metamorphosis, and in many species membraneous wings. Many feed on plants by sucking up plant juices, but a significant portion of true bugs are predatory. A few are even blood suckers by biting birds or mammals.

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African Cluster Bug

African Cluster Bug

Accidentally introduced and common in many Arizona habitats. Intricate mottled pattern.More ...

Shield Bug, Sphyrocoris

Shield Bug

These could be mistaken for beetles. But shield has no median seam and the mouthparts are piercing sucking. More ...

Agave Bug

Agave Plant Bug

Found exclusively on agave plants where common. Causes oozing spots on leaves and stems. More ...

Tithonia Plant Bug

Sunflower Plant Bug

There are dozens of green plant bug species. This one was on AZ sunflower. More ...

Agave Bug


Brown bug about 11mm, with a marginal band of cream-white. Can be found on variety of plants. More ...

Leaf-footed Bug

Leaf-footed Bug

Flag-like expansions on the back legs and a white zigzag across the back. More ...

Thasus neocalifornicus

Giant Mequite Bug

Armed with multiple defenses: toxic sprays, intimidating size, and sharp spines. More ...

Giant Agave Bug

Giant Agave Bug

Very large, mostly black bug, with orange tips of legs and antennae. Hind legs with leaf-like expansions. More ...

Large Milkweed Bug

Milkweed Bug

Bold red and black bug. Black band across mid section and black diamond on thorax More ...

Agave Bug

Cactus Bugs

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert The young (nymphs) cluster together and are red and green. Feed on prickly pears and other cacti. More ...

Tree Hopper on Arizona Sycamore

Tree Hopper

Many species of tree hoppers. This one may or may not be a specialist on Arizona Sycamore. Guarding ants common. More ...

Sibovia Sharpshooter

Alternating stripes of reddish and white on a bullet-shaped, jumping bug. This one on grape. More ...

Yellow-headed Hopper

Yellow-headed Hopper

No common name for this small blue hopper with a distinct yellow head. Only about 2½mm long. Jumps and flies. More ...

Tithonia Plant Bug

Willow Leafhopper

There are hundreds of kinds of leafhoppers in Arizona. This one was found on Goodding's Willow. More ...

Wooly Aphids

Ash Woolly Aphids

Long white threads cover short-legged bugs. Feeding causes leaves to curl. More ...

Oak Woolly Aphid

Woolly Oak Aphid

Inside these tightly folded Emory Oak leaves were waxy, white bugs less than 2mm long. More ...

Manzanita Gall Aphid

Bright red galls on leaves of Manzanita are frequently encountered. They contain aphids in the genus Tamalia. More ...

Grape Phylloxera

Grape Phylloxera

Very small, yellow­ish aphid-like bugs are found on the concave side of these leaf blisters. More ...

Giant Scale Icerya

Cottony Giant Scale

These bugs look like berries hanging from twigs of a Mimosa shrub. More ...

Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 29 October 2014
update 29 July 2017.


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