Foldscope mystery animal Puzzle#1

I have started making a lot of connections between life history of different animals. Most insect transform to such an incredible degree between life stages; that it’s almost impossible to bin them as the same species until you see one – transform into another. 

With light of this above note 

I am starting a little fun “puzzle” sequence where I will post some fun puzzle images and let everyone guess what it is. Leave your comments below.. 

Lots of clues hidden in the images itself; so keep wondering 🙂 

Rules of the game/hints: if you ask me “yes” – “no” questions in this – what animal is this game.. I will oblige below in comment section. 

Clue: I found many of them.. 




Update: by popular request; I am also uploading other life stages of the bug as a clue as well. Lots of information in these little videos. 

 Also; to give you a perspective of how I got excited about the mystery bug; here are the leaves I first found them. Notice the distinct indentation that’s present on the leaf. 

The bottom of the leaf is what’s hiding the surprise. 

Here is the transition of the tree and live imaging. 

Finally; here is the adult stage. 

Happy hunting.. Remember its importance to California (as a clue).. 



Ps: the suggestions below are close – but not exact as yet. Some more mysteries are hidden; if you look closely at the new material. 


Update: I have now posted this observation on iNaturalist as well. Once I get the official ID; I will post it here. 

iNatutalist Observation

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Saad Bhamla says:

    How big is it? Can you give a rough size?

  2. Saad Bhamla says:

    I’m intrigued by its red eyes.. Is it a cicada?

  3. laksiyer says:

    Its growing on a leaf. Is it a scale insect?

  4. laksiyer says:

    Or is it an aphid.

  5. Manu Prakash says:

    Wow – in a short time; you both are really very close. One clue – it’s growing “inside” the leaf – so between the two layers of the leaf.

    I hope it’s not a bed bug 🙂


  6. Manu Prakash says:

    Hint 1: it’s very host specific – one plant; one species.

    Hint 2: it’s quiet dangerous (for the plant ai mean).

    Hint 3: Amongst true bugs, it’s one of the oldest lineages. So it’s a very primitively insect that co-evolved with flowering plants from the very beginning.


  7. Saad Bhamla says:

    Ooh – it’s an insect that also produces galls on plant leaves.

    The image you’re showing is either the larvae or nymphal stage of a jumping plant louse (Trioza).

    Here’s the closest image I can find – the deadly red eyes give it away.

  8. laksiyer says:

    Hmm.. the plant lice if so it would be great to see other differentiated stages

  9. Saad Bhamla says:


    Can you confirm if this indeed a plant louse 🙂 ?

  10. laksiyer says:

    After consulting Aravind, It is obviously a psyllid. Perhaps Eugenia Psyllid? or a Citrus Psyllid.

  11. Manu Prakash says:

    Hurray!! @Laks – that’s absolutely right. Citrus Psyllid!!

    What’s so exciting is that I was able to actually image it feeding – once I get to make a real post; I will share the same. It’s incredible how small the stylets are – they are so spectacular to watch.


Leave a Reply