Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 11th, 2011

Planthopper

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At Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock, while I was photographing marsh fleabane flowers and the shoots of very young black willow trees on August 9, I noticed that a lot of the reddish shoots of the willows were covered with a white substance. Eventually I found a shoot that had an insect still on it. Valerie Bugh was good enough to identify it as a planthopper in the genus Oecleus. She added: “There’s a good chance that it was laying eggs, as all that waxy stuff is something that they use to cover their eggs with. I’m sure that individual was not responsible, though, for all that stuff!” To give you a sense of scale, I’ll add that the planthopper shown here was at most half an inch long. I’ll also add that these insects are called planthoppers because they can hop a large distance in a single bound and by so doing disappear from the sight of a would-be predator, or of a photographer who hoped to take more pictures.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2011 at 5:41 AM

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