A Young Naturalist in India Finds a Stunning Treehopper - Observation of the Week, 9/8/2019

Our Observation of the Week is this Leptocentrus taurus treehopper, seen in India by @adit!

A student in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Adit Jeyan tells me that “nature and wildlife have always fascinated me ever since I was a child.” About a year ago, he started photographing birds, as well as other wildlife, such as the bug seen above.  

“There's a place near the beach where I live that has a lot of small trees and shrubs,” he explains. 

It's usually quite crowded as people come with their families to enjoy the place. I go there often because it has a rich variety of insects and arachnids and also birds during the migratory season. I stumbled upon this during one of those trips to the place. He was just around 1 cm in length.

The bug he photographed, Leptocentrus taurus, is a member of the family Membracidae, or typical treehoppers. Like all bugs in the order Hemiptera, treehoppers have mouthparts used for piercing and sucking. Some bugs, like the assassin bugs, use this for predation, but most bugs, including the treehoppers, feed on plant liquids. The pronotums, or front three sections of the thorax, are often large and elaborate, as can be seen in Adit’s photo. Some resemble plant thorns, and others mimic ants - excellent for camouflage. And yes, they “hop” with the aid of their wings.

Adit (above), says “I started using iNat in the beginning for identifying the species I photographed…

[it] has taught me about a lot of species of wildlife and I've learned how to identify wildlife in the field thanks to iNat. I had never known that such a rich diversity of wildlife could be found around in the city where I live.

I am still in school but I want to become an Environmentalist when I grow up.

- by Tony Iwane.

- Check out all 10k+ treehopper observations on iNat, ranked by favorites!

- Tree hoppers use vibrations to communicate with each other, as discussed in this video.

Posted by tiwane tiwane, September 08, 2019 20:10



Great photograph, Adit. Good luck to you in your quest to become an environmentalist. We need them more than ever!

Posted by argyl about 1 month ago (Flag)

Great photo!!

Posted by kkeivit about 1 month ago (Flag)

What an incredibly fabulous treehopper! Thank you Adit for introducing us to him!

@steven-cyclist -- I know you will like this one.

@ginsengandsoon -- I imagine you will also go nuts over this.

Posted by susanhewitt about 1 month ago (Flag)

Wonderful photo and story. Keep taking photos Adit.

Posted by carolynstewart about 1 month ago (Flag)

Amazing bug! Great photograph! Great good luck in your studies!

Posted by vanwest about 1 month ago (Flag)

Great photo, keep up the good work on your lovely country.

Posted by nyoni-pete about 1 month ago (Flag)

Great photo.

Posted by leithallb about 1 month ago (Flag)

beautiful photo!

Posted by loarie about 1 month ago (Flag)

Adit , you are doing a great job & don't forget to involve your friends too.

Posted by itzhak46 about 1 month ago (Flag)

Great Shot!

Posted by lrstewart about 1 month ago (Flag)

Fantastic capture!

Posted by botanicaltreasures about 1 month ago (Flag)

Great going @adit and @jeyan So happy to see your observation selected as Observation of the week. This is really a cool capture.

Posted by vijaybarve about 1 month ago (Flag)

Thanks everyone! It's a humbling experience for me

Posted by adit about 1 month ago (Flag)

Congratulations for having the, "Observation of the Week", a well deserved honor for the fantastic photo of a fantastic insect. Keep those posts coming!

Posted by pam-piombino about 1 month ago (Flag)

It looks like a creature from "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings." How amazing is our real world!

Posted by dziakj1 about 1 month ago (Flag)

Lovely !!

Posted by defd about 1 month ago (Flag)

A quite amazing creature!!! Great Photo!

Posted by katharinab about 1 month ago (Flag)

It IS stunning! What a cool looking creature. Nice job, adit.

Posted by pamdarrow about 1 month ago (Flag)

Fantastic photo! Thank you :)

Posted by claudia_ma about 1 month ago (Flag)

adit me to i am still in school and always love trees and plants since childhood
great job adit

Posted by p_a26 about 1 month ago (Flag)


Posted by aesbiologist about 1 month ago (Flag)

Great shot! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by rednat about 1 month ago (Flag)

Cool looking insect!

Posted by hikingsandiego about 1 month ago (Flag)

congrats this is an amazing shot, reminds me of this one I saw in China: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/4511098. I wish I had had a better camera like yours at the time.

Posted by madfox about 1 month ago (Flag)

Wow, what an amazing shot! You deserve the observation of the week. Not only with the quality of the picture but for teaching me such insects exist. iNaturlist has taught me so much in a very short time. I want to echo the comment about becoming an environmentalist as we need them more than ever, by argyl.

Posted by onekoolkid0 about 1 month ago (Flag)

Great, Adit. With such a keen sense of observation and a natural interest in the environment, you will surely achieve your goal of becoming an environmentalist. Waiting to see more such pictures from you.

Posted by jayanthikrish about 1 month ago (Flag)

thanks everyone for your kind words.

Posted by adit about 1 month ago (Flag)

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