Coelidia olitoria: A Retrospective

Today Andy Hamilton of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has been busily working through photos of leafhoppers (Cicadellidae) and related insects on BugGuide.net and leaving comments with identifications (100+ comments today as of this writing).  One of these was to confirm that the nymph in the first photo below is a very young Coelidia olitoria as I had suspected (“probably the longer head is a consequence of its being so very young,” he added).  When I went to file my photos accordingly, I was struck by the variety of forms this species takes, and I thought it would be fun to make a little anthology of my pictures of this species, so here goes.

2 mm nymph at Serpent Mount, Ohio, 5/26/2011.

2-mm nymph at Serpent Mount, Ohio, 5/26/2011.

2.5-mm nymph parasitized by a dryinid wasp larva, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, May 27, 2011

2.5-mm nymph parasitized by a dryinid wasp larva, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, 5/27/2011.

4.5-mm nymph, Nashville, Tennessee, 5/28/2011.

4.5-mm nymph, Nashville, Tennessee, 5/28/2011.

Interestingly, those first three were taken in three successive days, each one in a different state, and each (I think) representing a successive instar.  This next one was taken the same day and place as the last one, and probably represents the same instar (or maybe goes between #2 and #3?), but the colors are quite different.

Nashville, Tennessee, 5/28/2011.

Nashville, Tennessee, 5/28/2011.

One more variation on the nymph:

Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area, Northampton, Massachusetts, 7/16/2011.

Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area, Northampton, Massachusetts, 7/16/2011.

I’ve already posted one shot of an adult previously on this blog…

Adult in Pelham, Massachusetts, 10/15/2011.

Adult in Pelham, Massachusetts, 10/15/2011.

…but the adults show some variation too.  Here’s a less pruinose one with distinct spots on the thorax…

Pelham, Massachusetts, 8/6/2011.

Pelham, Massachusetts, 8/6/2011.

…and an orange-washed individual from the same day:

Pelham, Massachusetts, 8/6/2011.

Pelham, Massachusetts, 8/6/2011.

And finally, one that has been killed by a fungus–one that is probably specific to leafhoppers, if not to Coelidia olitoria, and which has compelled the leafhopper to stick to a leaf with its wings outspread, the better to disperse its spores.

Pelham, Massachusetts, 10/15/2011.

Pelham, Massachusetts, 10/15/2011.

Incidentally, if there is anyone out there who studies arthropod pathogenic fungi and would like some specimens, I see this kind of thing all the time and would be happy to collect some.  It would be neat to get together a collection of photos like this in which the fungi have been positively identified.  In the meantime, here is a gallery I maintain of similarly grizzly images that people submit to BugGuide.net.

About Charley Eiseman

I am a freelance naturalist, endlessly fascinated by the interconnections of all the living and nonliving things around me. I am the lead author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates (Stackpole Books, 2010), and continue to collect photographs and information on this subject. These days I am especially drawn to galls, leaf mines, and other plant-insect interactions.
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2 Responses to Coelidia olitoria: A Retrospective

  1. Pingback: Arboretum: Skippers, Skimmers, and Killers » Skinny in a Land of Plenty

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