Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Treehoppers Are Strange Creatures

Membracids, related to cicadas, are in the class Insecta, the order Hemiptera (“true bugs”) and the family Membracidae. Like aphids, which are also “true bugs,” adult and immature treehoppers feed on plant sap....but wtf is that on their heads??

According to Biologists, "the hollow globes & spines, probably deter predators. It would be hard to grab, much less chow down on, a beast with all those spines and excrescences. Note, though, that the ornament sports many bristles. If these are sensory bristles, and not just deterrents to predation or irritating spines, then the ornament may have an unknown tactile function."

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