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 length. The nymphs are white, with the characteristic fuzzy, “waxy”, flocculent covering that a lot of planthoppers use for camouflage. Both adults and nymphs feed on palms, but usually spread out enough that they do not cause serious damage.

“Flatid” planthoppers are literally named because they are laterally flattened, appearing as “tiny colorful sailboats” (oh, I love that description, University of Florida, thank you).

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