Hideous Alien Gooberbugs on my Brugs
I'm usually pretty good at bug ID, but this one is really gross so I thought I'd share it with you.
I found these guys eating my brugmansia. They appear to begin life as tiny yellow eggs laid on the underside of leaves, about 20 in a group. Then these nasty little grub thingies with black heads emerge (see photo).
This is the creepy part: they appear to excrete a disgusting substance that looks like bubbled up baby poop all over their bodies. Some of them have huge bubbled up bodies, so that you can't see a head. I thought they had been parasitized, then I thought they had been BT-ized, except I never sprayed the brugmansia with BT. Then I thought maybe the brug had poisoned them and they were blowing up. I put them under the microscope ICK!!! I could see their pulsing lice-like bodies underneath the baby poop goobers. One had a fat yellow head, but all of the rest have small black heads. Two species? One "Queen"??? Ack.
Close up of gooberbugs hatching:
Does anyone know what manner of pest this is? If this is a camouflage or method that they employ to avoid being someone's lunch, it certainly looks effective.