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 pattern on its head. The rest of the body and legs are plain green, sometimes with a blue tint, and the wings are transparent.

Waterlettuce leafhoppers live near marshes or wetlands (tell that to this one in my backyard!) and eat, as you might guess, water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), as well as other aquatic plants. Like most hoppers, they feed by jamming their proboscis into the plant and sucking out the juices.

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