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.
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.
One more variation on the nymph:
I’ve already posted one shot of an adult previously on this blog…
…but the adults show some variation too. Here’s a less pruinose one with distinct spots on the thorax…
…and an orange-washed individual from the same day:
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.
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.