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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

T is for Treehopper

This keelbacked treehopper, Antianthe expansa, laid eggs in the stem of one of my tomato plants about a week ago. Here she is guarding them, or possibly whispering sweet nothings to them. A recent National Geographic story reveals that tropical treehoppers communicate audibly amongst the members of their apparently well-organized colonies. I loved the regret one of the researchers expressed for those times he was lacking his audio equipment: "I'm missing 98% of everything," he lamented.

You will recall that these treehoppers overwintered on the nearby cestrum shrub. Did one of them smell the tomato transpiring in the warming summer and say, hey, let's go make a family on that nice tasty Roma over there?

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