Hieroglyphic Cicada

Due to some unfortunate misadventures in my youth, I’m generally avoidant of cicadas, even knowing that they are harmless. The hieroglyphic cicada (Neocicada hieroglyphica), at only 32mm long, is smaller than the cicadas I remember hatching in jars when I was younger (only to be dive-bombed by the resulting angry adults when I tried to…

Palm Flatid Planthopper

Having gotten a camera that can make these little insects visible, I’ve decided that I love planthoppers. They look like tiny, perpetually-startled, neon aliens. The palm flatid planthopper, Ormenaria rufifascia, is a charming, Muppet-faced, bright green species, with bright orange and blue stripes on its head. Adults are relatively big for hoppers, about 11mm in…

Jikradia Olitoria

The description of this species on bugguide.net reads: “variably light brown to grayish or bluish, sometimes yellowish or brownish-yellow”, which I find covers the entire color spectrum pretty well. The females have white stripes on their wings, except when they don’t; the males are generally a uniform color, whatever color they’ve chosen. The nymphs can…

Waterlettuce Leafhopper

This tiny green beastie is a waterlettuce leafhopper, Draeculacephala inscripta. Just try to un-see that grumpy little face in the middle of its back — that’s actually one of the distinguishing characteristics for this species! (“Scutellum often with distinctive pattern of black dots.”) The other big feature on this guy is the handsome black scrollwork…

Scaphytopius Elegans

A beautiful little leafhopper with, alas, no common name, Scaphytopius elegans can be found all over the southern US, from Californa to Texas, Florida, and North Carolina. Adults are pale reddish brown with a wide cream or yellow midline stripe, striped eyes, a pale transverse stripe with black borders crossing the “nose” and going through…

Acanalonia Servillei

This charming little planthopper nymph is in the process of destroying the leaf of this succulent by sucking all the useful stuff out of the stem. As adults, Acanalonia servillei are charming little bright green wedges with a yellow dorsal stripe and red eyes; the nymphs are white, and look like they have brown eyeshadow….

Rugosana Querci

Another no-common-name, no description on Wikipedia, nothing beyond “It’s a leafhopper”. I understand the problems involved with trying to do field research on an animal 1/4″ long, but it just seems sad that just about all I can say about this striking little insect is “It’s a leafhopper”. Bugguide.net tells me it’s probably a second…

Omolicna Joi

The identification here makes me nervous, since Omolicna joi was only recently discovered (2014) and the pattern on the wings on this little dude/ette really reminds me of the much more common citrus flatid planthopper, Metcalfa pruinosa. I always try to assume that I’ve found the more common/boring species, because who the hell am I…

Bothriocera Cognita

This tiny, black and white spotted cixiid planthopper does not seem to have a common name. Bothiocera cognita is about 3-5mm long, and appears to range through the southeastern US. Other than that, it’s a nondescript little planthopper, without even a Wikipedia entry. Planthoppers, in general, live on, and eat plants, eating the roots as…

Flatoidinus punctatus

How do these crazy little bugs (these are true bugs, too) not have a common name? Flatoidinus punctatus is one of (it feels like, having looked for this guy on bug-guide.net for hours) hundreds of very similar, but not identical, hopping insects in the family Flatidae. Hoppers generally have a strong, pointy proboscis hidden under…

Water Lily Planthopper

Meet the water lily planthopper, Megamelus davisi. Despite appearances, this atomic-scale little being (5mm long) is fully grown, and the “shrek ears” are what his/her antennae normally look like. Unlike most planthoppers, this one does not have wings, just the body plates that would protect the wings if they were there. This makes it look…