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strange bugs on my tomatoes

May 30, 2008

I know it doesn't help that I'm not posting pictures, but I'm going to throw this out there and see if anyone bites on what this could be...

For the first time this year, I bought someone else's tomatoes to grow in my yard, because I didn't have time to buy heirloom seeds of my own. Two of the three tomatoes I bought are a striped heirloom variety, either both Tigerella, both Green Zebra, or possibly one of each (they were badly marked). Specifically, these two tomatoes appear to have a lot of bugs on them - not to the point of "infestation", but visible enough that there are 8-10 of these little guys on every third or fourth leaf.

The bugs are beige in color, approximately 1mm in size, perfectly round tortoiseshell body (hard/firm body) with a little head poking out. The legs are teeny tiny, sticking out from the underside of the body at a diagonal. Honestly, if bedbugs came in hardshell form and beige color, these bugs would look a lot like that. They do not appear to have wings at all. They also don't seem to move much (if at all) when disturbed.

The bugs are only hanging out on the top of the leaves, and they don't appear to be doing any physical damage to the plant. They DO NOT look like any aphid I've ever seen. They are also only sticking to this particular variety of heirloom which I purchased, so I'm not certain if the bug is something that came from the nursery, the store, or if this is just a pest common to this variety of heirlooms (or heirlooms in general).

I've love to get to the bottom of this; I can take pictures if it will absolutely help ID the critter, I just haven't had time this week and may not have time until the weekend.

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