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Monday, May 25, 2009

Visual Holiday

This adult torpedo bug, Siphanta acuta, was found hanging out on the fanged felt plant, Kalanchoe beharensis 'fang'. The plant's leaves are not soft and furry but more prickly and dry and don't seem especially conducive to the plant-sap sucking ways of this flatid planthopper. A simple herbivore, maybe on a holiday road trip, lost its way down a scenic but spelunkoid detour, surrounded by tooth-shaped and formidable formations; then easily remedied by one hop onto the next nearest juicy plant.

Btw, this is the only siphanta species that is found in north America. They came from Australia, via Hawaii where they are pesky on a variety of crops. Not yet much of a pest here in southern CA, so I can still consider their pink-outlined appearance cute. I only see an occasional adult and a very occasional nymph; will let ya know if I find any eggs.


Moe said...

Cool! Love the paragraph with the photo.

Anonymous said...

Great photo & info, I have always been fascinated by these....& never knew what they were!

vanessa cardui said...

Thanks guys. Plants + bugs = happiness for me.