Strange Costa Rican Bug…
Here’s a mystery bug for you…. no one @ the lodges we visited or any of the nature guides (and we had several) that we utilized while on vacation in Costa Rica have been able to identify it, or had ever seen it before.. We encountered this bug in a small clearing in the rainforest at the tip of the Osa Peninsula, aprox 500ft above sea level. When I saw what I thought was a feather, I noticed this bug on the side of a tree. It was there with another of the same species. I figure they measured aprox 2 inches long (including plumage – for lack of a better term) and perhaps 1/3rd inch wide (including wings). Since we did not want to disturb them, we did not try to provoke them to take flight or to run away. We were able to get close enough for this picture, though. The plumage was very light in nature, as it swayed and moved a bit in a light breeze (we blew on it to see). Both bugs looked the same, and were about the same in all attributes. Although we have literally hundreds of pictures to go through, this seems to be the only picture we have of it. This was the only of this species that we saw the whole trip. Any ideas what it might be? Thanks,

Hi ~C~,
This is probably some species of Homopteran, the order that contains Hoppers, Cicadas and Aphids. Perhaps someonw will write in with something more specific. Here is Eric’s response: ” Daniel: You are correct about the Costa Rican insect being a Hemipteran, probably in the family Fulgoridae. Those are wax filaments coming out of its butt:-) I suggest you ask Dr. Andy Hamilton, a frequent visitor to Bugguide, for a more specific, and correct ID. He is in Canada, but has a website, affiliated with a university up there if I recall correctly. … Your’re doing great. Eric”

Chicharra Quetzal
(11/28/2006) Costa Rican Homopteran
Regarding the home page photos titled Costa Rican Homopteran from 11/24/2006, I can’t add much except that it is known in southwestern Costa Rica as “Chicharra Quetzal,” and is certainly recognized by the locals there, if you ask the right ones. Also, my source agrees with Eric that it is indeed in the family Fulgoridae, as is the famous Peanut-head Bug or Lantern Bug. I’ve attached a photo of one from Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Brazil. At Cristalino we saw several fulgorids in the same group as the Costa Rican bug as well, but they were about 4 times bigger than the ones I’ve seen in Costa Rica. Somehow, I never managed to get a photo of one. Regards,
Richard C. Hoyer
Tucson, AZ

Hi Rich,
Thanks so much for the additional information and the wonderful image of a Lanternfly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *