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Delphacid With Unusual Antennae : Nature Closeups

Delphacid With Unusual Antennae

November 27th, 2011 - 4:22 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 2 Comments

5mm long body | July 8, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Those are some weird looking antennae for a planthopper. After a bit of research, I determined that this member of the family Delphacidae belongs in the genus Copicerus. There are at least three species in Brazil according to this page. One of those species, Copicerus irroratus, ranges into temperate North America.

2 Responses to “Delphacid With Unusual Antennae”

  1. Any speculations on the function of those thickened antennae?

    • Troy Bartlett says:

      I wonder about the function of the antennae as well, but I’ve seen nothing anywhere to explain them.

      I will say that I can’t look at the picture above without thinking that it’s holding its front legs in the air. Does that suggest a purpose? None that I can think of.

      I did read that they are uncommon and that they are usually found alone. Maybe the extra surface area allows for more receptors to help them find each other? That’s just a wild guess though.

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