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 2 years ago (Flag)

Great photo!!

Posted by kkeivit about 2 years 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 2 years ago (Flag)

Wonderful photo and story. Keep taking photos Adit.

Posted by carolynstewart about 2 years ago (Flag)

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

Posted by vanwest about 2 years ago (Flag)

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

Posted by nyoni-pete about 2 years ago (Flag)

Great photo.

Posted by leithallb about 2 years ago (Flag)

beautiful photo!

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago (Flag)

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

Posted by itzhak46 about 2 years ago (Flag)

Great Shot!

Posted by lrstewart about 2 years ago (Flag)

Fantastic capture!

Posted by botanicaltreasures about 2 years 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 2 years ago (Flag)

Thanks everyone! It's a humbling experience for me

Posted by adit about 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago (Flag)

Lovely !!

Posted by defd about 2 years ago (Flag)

A quite amazing creature!!! Great Photo!

Posted by katharinab about 2 years ago (Flag)

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

Posted by pamdarrow about 2 years ago (Flag)

Fantastic photo! Thank you :)

Posted by claudia_ma about 2 years 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 2 years ago (Flag)


Posted by aesbiologist about 2 years ago (Flag)

Great shot! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by rednat about 2 years ago (Flag)

Cool looking insect!

Posted by hikingsandiego about 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago (Flag)

thanks everyone for your kind words.

Posted by adit about 2 years ago (Flag)

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