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Leaf Hoppers

September 25, 2013  •  1 Comment

Last year I discovered leaf-hoppers.  It took this one picture to learn that a beautiful and colorfully patterned group of insects lives right here in Massachusetts and not somewhere in the tropics. You have probably seen them, too, when you kick through the grass and notice little slivers of bugs the size of fingernail clippings hop up from the ground to escape your step. 

Red-banded Leafhopper This summer I have discovered many more "hopper" families that belong to this True Bug (Hemiptera) Order of Insects.  Leaf-hoppers, plant-hoppers, tree-hoppers - all of them miniscule. And they vary in color, pattern and shape.

Leafhoppers are miniscule insects. Many adults are beautifully patterned.

 

This beautiful green one with yellow eyes (above) belongs to a sub-family of leaf-hoppers that are called "Sharp Shooters".

However, the most unusual members of these families seem to be the young ones, the nymphs.  Their body structures are complicated and, well, sometimes bizarre. Some look like they are part crustacean part transformer toy. You might even think they come from outer space:

leafhopper nymph Two-striped Planthopper nymph

Here's a fascinating article (thanks to my sister) with cool video that explains how leaf hoppers are able to propel themselves forward:  http://whyfiles.org/2013/got-gears-lets-leap-says-the-leafhopper/

 

 

 


Comments

Hanie(non-registered)
Wow, who knew leaf hoppers were among the most dapper dressers on the planet?! GORGEOUS. I'm going to go put on my drab clothing now.
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