Monday, June 15, 2009

Bizarre Blue Bug

"Is that a bug?"

"No, it's just a tiny piece of blue fuzz caught in the breeze."

"But it's changing direction."

So went the conversation in my backyard the other night. It was way too tiny to get a look at while in flight, so I gently pawed at it to try to get it to land on a nearby bush.

When it did, I almost didn't believe what I saw. It looked like a microscopic moth with a light blue version of Doc Brown's hairdo. I got my camera and zoomed way, way in to get this photo of it:

I shared the photo with a couple of coworkers at the National Wildlife Federation, who quickly figured out it's a woolly aphid. It's a common insect, but one I'd never spotted before, and one that looks like it comes from another planet. Amazing what you can find in your own backyard!
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