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Firework Butt | by antonsrkn
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Firework Butt

Planthopper nymph (unidentified species) - Danum Valley, Malaysia (EDIT: Potentially Ricaniidae family)

 

Walking through the jungle an observant hiker may spot some of these tiny insects moving about on the vegetation. This is a planthopper nymph from the infraorder Fulgoromorpha, at a glance its easy to see one of its more interesting traits. The hair-like filaments extruding from its behind. These filaments are actually a sort of wax produced from special abdominal glands, these waxy extrusions are actually hydrophobic and additionally supposedly serve to help conceal the insect, even though I'd say they do the exact opposite and more than double its size thus making it more noticeable. However i have read that it may also act as a distraction to predators which seems to make more sense to me. Either way its a really unusual and interesting adaptation for these little fulgorids.

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Taken on September 7, 2014