Blog Archives

Burrowing Bug Nymph

8mm body | July 3, 2011 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This immature burrowing bug in the family Cydnidae was under a log. I gently held it to get a better view of those fossorial legs and its beak (rostrum).

Underside

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Bee Mimicking Assassin Bug

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

For me, those wings are what really give this assassin bug in the family Reduviidae the appearance of a bee.

Dorsal view

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Waxy Planthopper Nymph

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

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Ants Tending Leafhoppers

July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

These ants are tending to some treehopper nymphs. Most of the ants are busy collecting honeydew, but the one on the bottom has noticed me and is on alert. I accidentally bumped the branch after this shot and all of the ants started running around looking for something to attack. I held up a leaf for a background here so that the ants would stand out.

In this next shot, I’m assuming the white areas are either treehopper eggs or a protective covering for the eggs. One of the adult treehoppers is also visible here, a darker shade of red than the nymphs. read more

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Leafhoppers, displaying

4mm | January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Some leafhoppers (family Cicadellidae) spread their wings in the manner shown above, perhaps as part of some mating ritual.

Reference:

500 Insects:
A Visual Reference
by Stephen A. Marshall
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Identification Challenge #12 Reveal: Emesinae

30mm (body) | January 20, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Only one reader commented on the latest identification challenge. Bryan Reynolds found it easy to identify this as a thread-legged bug in the subfamily Emesinae (family Reduviidae). Be sure to check out Bryan’s new non-profit, The Butterflies of the World Foundation.

This thread-legged bug was spotted in some leaf litter, finishing off some sort of nondescript prey.

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Feeding Derbids

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?

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Heliconia Bug

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

This true bug in the family Coreidae is probably Leptoscelis tricolor. It’s #5 on this plate from the electronic Biologia Centrali-Americana. It also matches these photos from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Bocas del Toro Species Database (Bocas del Toro is only 30 miles or so from where I took this photo). Finally, the Costa Rica Biodiversity Portal only shows two species for this genus. These photos from STRI eliminate the other species, Leptoscelis quadrisignata.

This coreid is commonly known as the heliconia bug simply because it’s often found feeding on heliconias. read more

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Waxy Planthopper Nymph

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

Underneath that elaborate waxy shelter lies a planthopper nymph.

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Identification Challenge #11 Reveal: Derbidae

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
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