Oak Treehopper

I’m home from a great weekend at the Nantucket Biodiversity Research Conference, and now back to the business of sorting through my photos from this spring in Florida.  This snazzy Oak Treehopper (Platycotis vittata) looks like the sort of thing you would only find in Florida, but in fact it occurs as far north as Pennsylvania in the east and British Columbia in the west.  I found it on March 29, under an oak tree a bit north of Lake Okeechobee.

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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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8 Responses to Oak Treehopper

  1. Bob Bobson says:

    What a lovely little bug!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is this species the same size as other leaf hoppers? Seems to have a higher profile. Great pic, as usual. Do you pay them to hold still?

    • This is a typical sized treehopper (a little larger than the average leafhopper), about 12 mm from the tip of the “horn” to the wingtip. Most bugs I want to photograph don’t cooperate too well, but every once in a while I meet one like this that is willing to hold still until I get it right!

  3. timbush222 says:

    Reblogged this on timEBush.com and commented:
    inspiring!

  4. jse says:

    Since you found it on my birthday, I’ll think of it as a gift. ; )

  5. Moni says:

    The nymphs of the oak leafhopper are so cool…they look like something out of Star Wars!
    Too bad we do not have them here in the Midwest.

  6. Lang says:

    Ever considered videotaping these incredible creatures?

    • Sometimes! There was a gracillariine moth that emerged from a leaf collected on this trip that I really wish I could have caught on video. When at rest, it was constantly rocking from side to side, at the same time swiveling its extremely long antennae in circles. I would have to upgrade my camera to do this though; I don’t currently have anything capable of recording video.

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