Thursday, 27 August 2009

What is It?

I noticed a blob on a leaf surface and then looked a bit closer. It moved. On touch it raised the curly structures. Under the microscope it became obvious that is was an insect resembling an imperfection in the leaf or a bird dropping.

The curly structures are actually waxy filaments. They can raise or lower them depending on the situation. Both Murray Fletcher and Lois O'Brien think it's a ricaniid--a fulgoroid sucking bug. Murray suggests it may be Aprivesa exuta.


Disturbed, the filaments are raised and the creature sits motionless.
The filaments are raised and positioned forward when the creature is disturbed, otherwise the are held flat between the hind filaments.
Note the hind filaments, seemingly paired on each side.
Examination of the head region reveals it is a fulgoroid, probably Aprivesa exuta. See some related bugs, the Flatidae represented earlier on this blog.

4 comments:

Camera Trap Codger said...

Looks like a small arboreal cephalopod.

Snail said...

That's one of the weirdest looking insects I've ever seen!

HomeBugGardener said...

That's one bizarre bug. I think today I will have to indulge in Queensland insect envy.

Mr. Smiley said...

Hi All:

Well several folks, including Lois O'Brien and Murray Fletcher says that the insects is probably a riciinid, a fulgoroid and those odd filaments are made of wax, not wings. Still odd. Wish I had kept it alive to see what the adult looks like. Murray suggests it might be Aprivesa exuta (see http://www1.dpi.nsw.gov.au/keys/fulgor/species/aexuta.htm). So have a look.

DR