Thursday, June 24, 2010

A bee-like spittlebug

I was examining the dogwood tree in our backyard today, as it attracts a wide variety of insects. A little spittlebug (family Cercopidae) caught my eye. At first, I could not tell which way was the right way around. It looked more like a tiny bee (or bee-mimicking fly) than a hopper! Perhaps a mimic of a mimic? The black and yellow warning pattern is common among many animal groups. The eye spots will confuse predators, hopefully causing them to attack the abdomen instead of the insect's real head.
This is the dogwood spittlebug (Clastoptera proteus). It sat quite still as I took photos, and it was not until it got up to walk away (backwards?) that I finally saw the whole picture - a very sneaky little insect!


Dawn said...

Wow, it's a really cute little bug too!

Boris kreiman said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading what you all have to say

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