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.
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.
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.
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.
This little planthopper blends in pretty well with the lichen covered bark I found it on.
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 .
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.
Also odd are those Velcro like hooks along the leading edge of the wing.
Underneath that elaborate waxy shelter lies a planthopper nymph.
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.
Just another one of those odd looking dictyopharids.