Oct 152012
 

Tree hoppers disguise as thorns on plant stem to prevent predators from spotting them,  to get extra protection they hire ants by providing them sweet liquid in return. 

Thorn mimic hopper

The insect body look like leaf buds under the thorns. Hoppers (order Homoptera) are herbivorous insects that suck the carbohydrate-rich juice from phloem vessels in plant sap through their piercing mouthparts.

Thorn mimic hopper

 Like aphids, they produce a sugary liquid excrement that is “milked” by ants and in turn ants protect hoppers from predators.

Thorn mimic hopper

 They are characterised by a distinctive extension of the body casing called the pronotum, which only appears in the adult.

Thorn mimic hopper

 In this species the pronotum forms the pointed “thorn” that provides camouflage.

Thorn mimic hopper

Photographed in the JP Nagar reserve forest bangalore.

  6 Responses to “Thorn mimic hopper”

  1. Nice Article Saandip.. 🙂 nice captures, was never new about the hiring part.. 🙂

  2. nice one sandeep..
    sriram

  3. Stupendous work, Saandip!! Simply stunning pics!

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