Dictyopharid Planthopper with Dryinid Wasp Parasite

April 18th, 2012 - 8:50 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

~20mm | January 7, 2012 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

When I encountered the planthopper above, I had no idea what was going on. While not entirely sure, I assumed that might be a parasite on its abdomen. I had wanted to get a closeup of just the parasite, but when I went to grab the planthopper, it jumped and flew away with little difficulty. The parasite must not have been as much of a hindrance as it would appear.

Here’s a crop of the image above showing the parasite.

Closeup of parasite

It didn’t take much searching on the internet to determine that this must be the larva of a wasp in the family Dryinidae. There are plenty of images of larvae on BugGuide. According to Wikipedia, a larva initially feeds internally on the host. Only later in its development does it protrude the host as shown here.

I feel lucky to have seen this. As is usually the case, this just whets my appetite for more. Now I’ll be on the lookout for the odd looking adult.

A Couple of Dictyopharid Planthoppers

April 15th, 2012 - 9:29 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

10mm long | December 30, 2011 | Quirinópolis, Goiás, Brazil

These dictyopharid planthoppers are a nice addition to my virtual collection.

It took many attempts before I got this shot where both planthoppers were in the plane of focus. That’s sometimes difficult enough with small subjects, but even more so when they are above your head. I convinced myself the Canon 60D’s flip-out view screen with live view would come in handy for situations like this. Shots like these that I’d otherwise have missed make me feel better about the expenditure.

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.

Camouflaged Planthopper

September 21st, 2011 - 8:57 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 2 Comments

15mm | July 9, 2011 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This little planthopper blends in pretty well with the lichen covered bark I found it on.

Side view

Waxy Planthopper Nymph

July 13th, 2011 - 9:19 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 4 Comments

10mm wide | July 9, 2011 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I’ve encountered odd planthopper nymphs like this before, but this might be the first time I’ve been able to get good shots showing the nymph itself .

Dorsolateral view

Dorsal view

Feeding Derbids

June 18th, 2011 - 2:37 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

30mm (wingspan) | January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

These planthoppers in the family Derbidae are feeding on the yellow stem.

You can clearly see the left one’s beak (rostrum) inserted in the stem. Next time I’ll have to try and get a good profile shot. They really are odd looking.

Face on

Also odd are those Velcro like hooks along the leading edge of the wing.

What purpose might these hooks server?

Waxy Planthopper Nymph

May 31st, 2011 - 9:35 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

6mm | January 20, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Underneath that elaborate waxy shelter lies a planthopper nymph.

Identification Challenge #11 Reveal: Derbidae

May 30th, 2011 - 8:24 PM | Filed under Identification Challenges | No comments

15mm (wingspan) | January 20, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Both commenters on the last identification challenge correctly identified the critter above as a planthopper in the family Derbidae.

At a glance, you might mistake these hemipterans for lepidopterans. The first thing you might notice as being a bit off are those antennae. If you look closely enough, you’ll see the typical hemipteran rostrum.

Here’s another one, with what appears to be an abdominal injury.

Another derbid

Reference:

500 Insects:
A Visual Reference

by Stephen A. Marshall

Dictyopharid

May 25th, 2011 - 6:20 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

January 20, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Just another one of those odd looking dictyopharids.

Another Nogodinid Planthopper

April 21st, 2011 - 5:23 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

13mm | January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica


Here’s another one of those planthoppers from the family Nogodinidae, pretty much just like the earlier one I posted.