A Plant that Hops

Green Coneheaded Planthopper

Green Cone-headed Planthopper

During a brief respite from one of the downpours this past week I went out to the garden to see what was out and about. I noticed some movement on a flower stem and a close look revealed this well-camouflaged insect, a planthopper. Planthoppers appear to be less common than the generally smaller leafhoppers in my garden and meadow. And though they can hop to escape, they often walk with a slight waddle along their plant stem or remain motionless to hide. I coaxed this specimen onto my finger and brought it inside for some pictures.

Planthopper 1

Green Cone-headed Planthopper

This particular species appears to be the Green Cone-headed Planthopper, Acanalonia conica. They feed on a variety of plants by piercing them with their mouth-parts and ingesting the plant nutrients. Females lay eggs in the stems of various plants in late summer.

Planthopper

Green Cone-headed Planthopper

It is amazing how well the intricate wing patterns resemble the venation in a leaf. By setting the camera on a tripod I was able to move the lights around to better highlight the textures. This little guy was a cooperative subject and stayed on the stem all afternoon, probably thankful to be out of the monsoon that was happening out in the garden. I returned it at days end to continue its plant hopping ways.