Hemiptera (True bugs, hoppers, cicadas, aphids, etc)

True bugs, hoppers, cicadas, aphids, etc

Hoppers!

My recent trip to Costa Rica to shoot arthropods was everything I could have hope for sans a Harlequin beetle and a few other bucket list bugs.

If I had to choose a favorite, of all the things I pointed my camera at, the “hoppers” by far gave me the most joy this trip.

Just look at the face on this Derbe westwoodi. I can’t help but smile every time I see it.

Planthoppers, leafhoppers, treehoppers -all from the order Hemiptera are comical characters. From the fanciful shapes of the Thorn bugs, to the grand noses of the Lantern bugs, to the candy coloring of the tiniest of hopper nymphs sporting fluffy filaments, you can’t help but want to collect photos of every one.

Dare I say they bumped the Jagged Ambush bug from its status as my favorite arthropod? Nooooo, but they are a close second. Besides, I could never choose a favorite out of that huge cast of comedians.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
The pollinators and I thank you!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm macro, ISO100, 1/60, F10, three diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod

December 2016, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Do it for the Flat Bugs

This strangely flat creature is Dysodius lunatus – the appropriately named flat bug.

Flat bugs are built this way for a reason. Most species live on tree trunks under the bark. Tropical species tend to branch out a bit more and can be found in leaf litter or on fallen branches and twigs. I was incredibly lucky to find this one out in the open, in full sun, sitting on a leaf just above my head. (Via Wikipedia)

Every time someone chooses to use pesticides, countless numbers of known (and still unknown) species of arthropods are effected. Please make 2017 the year you research and learn all the many ways you can control pests around your work and home without poisoning them and the environment.

Don’t do it just for the pollinators who get most of the spotlight. Do it for the funny flat bugs, the round bugs, the pretty bugs, and even the ugly bugs. They are all living beings who deserve a chance to live out their little lives doing gigantically interesting things.

Thank you.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
The pollinators and I thank you!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm macro, ISO100, 1/160, F7.1, two diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod

December 2016, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Individual

This is Proxys punctulatus aka The Black Stink Bug. It can be found in eastern North America up to North Carolina and west as far as Texas and Oklahoma. Heading south, you can find this particular shield bug throughout Central America and into South America to Brazil.

P. Punctulatus somewhat unusual because it feeds on both plant and animal material. Not many shield bugs/stink bugs have that varied of a diet.

The standout fact for me is that this species of Pentatomid lays its eggs individually or in pairs – scattering them over a larger area. All other known members of this family lay their eggs all together in a single group. I would be interested to know if this is helpful as far as competition of food for the nymphs, or on the other hand, if it is detrimental because there is relative safety in numbers.

PS -That is a thorn behind the insect. I was surprised to see so many plant species in Costa Rica covered in thorns. One tree, we were told, only has thorns on its trunk until it can grow thick enough for the peccaries not to be able to eat it. It will then loose its thorns and looks like a normal tree. Interesting!

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
The pollinators and I thank you!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm macro, ISO100, 1/60, F9, three diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod

So Fancy

This fancy looking True Bug is known as a Leaf-Footed Bug.

Like the Spot-Sided Coreid bug in my last post, they are vegetarians who use their built in straw to suck the juices out of plant material.

Also, like the bug, they are usually not found in large numbers, and the damage they do is minimum.

So just sit back and watch them strut around in those fancy pants. Anyone else hearing disco music suddenly?


April 2014, Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA

Respect the Assassins

Are you ready for weeks of Costa Rica photos? I hope you said yes, because it’s coming!

I had 9 days of shooting on the Osa Peninsula I will never forget, and I hope you enjoy the collection of amazing arthropods I have to share with you. Many of these creatures I may not be able to give species-specific information on, but as you know by now, I will do my best to give as much information as possible.

Let’s start things off with this beautifully colored Bark Mantis.

Bark mantises are active hunters. Not satisfied with waiting for prey to get close enough to snatch, the Bark Mantis will actually pursue their meals.

This girl was not looking for a meal, but was depositing her eggs in this unique-looking ootheca. I didn’t actually realize what this was at the time. It wasn’t until researching these mantises later that I discovered what she had under her.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
The pollinators and I thank you!
Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm macro, ISO100, 1/80, F7.1, two diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod

December 2016, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Daydreaming

These nice bright yellow flowers have me daydreaming of Summer… again. The fact that we had snow yesterday just makes it worse.
But even the snow can’t dampen my spirits now.
Thursday morning I head south to Victoria to catch a plane and begin my adventure to Costa Rica.
I hope we do have adequate internet once there. I want to share my adventure with you.
For now, enjoy this little leafhopper captured in the Summer sun.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm micro, ISO100, 1/125, F9, two diffused Sb200 flash heads, tripod

August 2016, Courtenay, BC, Canada

My Hairy Lygus

This little creature is a juvenile Lygus bug. Sorry I don’t know my Lygus bugs well enough to tell them apart. (You can tell it is still a juvenile by the wing nubs. Possibly fourth instar.)

I do know they love my sunflowers. I have seen them on all three varieties. While they have never caused any significant damage to my plants, they can become pests to farmers.

Luckily, there are a number of predators who tend to feed on them while they are still young and juicy. These include parasitic wasps, ladybird beetles, lacewing larvae, crab spiders, and Tachinid flies just to name a few.

So don’t fret. Share a flower or two with the Lygus bugs. The beneficial bugs will be along to help shortly.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon MP 65mm macro, ISO100, 1/60, F13, ring flash, hand held

August 2016, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Helmeted Squash Bug

This spotted beauty is Euthochtha galeator. It is also known as the Helmeted Squash Bug. It is from the family Coreidae or leaf-footed bugs. Which, by the way, don’t all have leafy shaped legs.

I can’t lie, sometimes I do come across arthropods that are considered as pests by farmers and gardeners. But what is a pest to humans, is a feast for other creatures.

Although, these insects do produce a stinky fluid to deter predators, a variety of animals feed on them.
Along with birds, reptiles,and frogs, other arthropods such as mantids, assassin bugs, and spiders eat these crop bugs.

Whether we as humans like it or not, every insect has its place. If we took ourselves out of the equation, these “pests” would be dealt with the way they have been dealt with for millions of years.

Did you note the missing left hind leg? Looks like he had a narrow escape from one of those predators recently!

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm micro f4, ISO 200, 1/60, F7.1, two diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod

September 2016, Florida, USA

Thread-Legged Assassin

Nice stick insect you say? Look again. This beauty is Emesaya brevipennis – a Thread-Legged Assassin Bug or just Thread-Legged Bug.

As a member of family Reduviidae, this petite little walking stick mimic is quite the hunter. It walks on the middle and rear legs, leaving the front legs free to grasp prey.

Not only do they eat practically any insect they can grab and hang on to, but they will also eat small spiders. In addition, the Thread-Legged Assassin Bug has been known to hang out in spider webs and consume prey caught in the web.

So next time you think you have spotted a tiny stick insect, look closely, those front legs are a clue.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm micro f4, ISO100, 1/60, F6.3, two Sb200 flash heads, tripod

September 2016, Christmas, Florida, USA