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Arrowwood thingies - Trialeurodes pergandei

Arrowwood thingies - Trialeurodes pergandei
Massachusetts, USA
September 3, 2008
Size: ~4 mm, including fluff
This summer I was working in red maple swamps all over Massachusetts, and it seemed like the underside of every arrow-wood leaf (Viburnum dentatum) had these white curly fluffy things. The linked image shows the underside of one--it seems totally featureless, so I'm ruling out psyllids, and I guess that leaves whiteflies and scales as options? I'm not sure if any scales actually do something like this. The closest thing I've found is crown whitefly, but those are southern and feed on oak and chestnut.

View of the underside of a different individual:

Update, 9/19/09: I collected some of these a couple of weeks ago, and this morning I looked in the vial and found adult whiteflies had emerged.

Moved from Whiteflies.
Determined by Gregory A. Evans from the nymphal exuviae I sent to the USDA Systematic Entomology Lab.

Very interesting
Did you notice any cornucles? Could they be wooly aphids? I would guess some kind of mealy bug, but I've never seen anything quite like it.

No, it was really just a featureless, legless, flat, yellow oval--see the linked image in my comment below. A grad student who's studying scale insects just took a look at it and couldn't make any sense of it, so I'm thinking it has to be some kind of whitefly nymph/pupa. If I find these again (which shouldn't be hard), I'll be sure to collect a few and give them to someone who can figure it out once and for all.

Sounds good
I bet you'd have to examine these pretty closely to identify them. I looked at you other image, but I couldn't really see any identifying features. Let us all know if you ever collect more and figure it out, I'd really like to know what it is!

See the update above. I still don't know who to give them to for a further ID, but my suspicion of Aleyrodidae is confirmed.

The image at the top of the page is???
One individual? If so, is the adult smaller??

Yes, one individual
The 4 mm includes the waxy filaments--the actual pupa was probably about 1 mm, as was the adult.

It sounds like a good way to fool predators! Thanks for the research and the info!

Could it be
a mealy bug destroyer?

It looks like some purist editor must have unlinked my images because they weren't of the same individual. No, this is definitely something along the lines of a whitefly or scale insect. Here's the underside of one:

The bug itself is just a little legless, featureless yellowish oval.

It looks like
This one I found in Vermont a couple years ago. I still don't know exactly what it is.

Yours look like
they might be on an oak leaf? Do you remember?
Interesting how yours are all parted in the middle. All the ones I photographed were like the one above, with the white tufts completely concealing what was beneath.
Mine were on the order of 4mm across (just added that). Does the 15mm on your post refer to a single one or the whole cluster?

Maybe on oak
I think you're right, but I don't remember for sure. Whatever they are, it looks like the two are related, but not the same species.

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