ecuadorlife: Ant-mimicking treehopper, Cyphoni…

Ant-mimicking treehopper, Cyphonia clavata, Membracidae

ecuadorlife:

Ant-mimicking treehopper, Cyphonia clavata, Membracidae by Andreas Kay

Via Flickr:

watch my VIDEO: rumble.com/v6r78d

This treehopper was filmed in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador and measures only 6 mm in length. Treehoppers are insects related to cicadas and leafhoppers.
Most treehoppers have a highly modified pronotum on the back, in this case forming several hollow spheres and spines, which makes it unpalatable for potential predators. Moreover it resembles an ant which most predators rather avoid.
Treehoppers feed on plant sap which is rich in sugar. In the video the sucking mouthparts of the treehopper have penetrated the vein of a leaf.

from Ecuador: www.flickr.com/andreaskay/albums