Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Weird Bug


weird bug
weird bug  

I found your information as to try to find out more information about a weird flying bug that looks like it has the head of a lizard.  It is approximately 5/8" - 3/4" in length and it does fly as I saw it fly and land on the bushes in front of my work in Santa Ana, California, the time was approximately 11:30am today on 7/21/14.  I attached the picture I took of it and I am just curious about this because I have never seen a bug like this before and it looks like a lizard, it could be common for all I know.

Dan Lopez

Hi, Dan:

Thanks for including the image with your question.  Your description is wonderful, I never thought of it that way (looking like a lizard).

The insect is a "sharpshooter" leafhopper in the family Cicadellidae, genus Homalodisca .  Here's more about them:


Yours is probably a "Smoketree Sharpshooter."  It is a female, as she has a white spot on the wings.  She uses that chalky stuff to coat her eggs after she lays them.  More on that phenomenon here:


The substance also helps waterproof the insect.

Thanks again for your question and observations!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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