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.
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.
Like aphids, they produce a sugary liquid excrement that is “milked” by ants and in turn ants protect hoppers from predators.
They are characterised by a distinctive extension of the body casing called the pronotum, which only appears in the adult.
In this species the pronotum forms the pointed “thorn” that provides camouflage.
Photographed in the JP Nagar reserve forest bangalore.