What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange, hard, fly like creature
December 22, 2009
The strangest insect ever? Hard as a rock. Didn’t sting or bite but the spike on top and two on his sides were sharp and hard like thorns.
Had wings and was on the beach but seemed unable to fly in the strong breeze. Clung to me or my pencil till I let him go in the jungle.
Thank you! Kambri Crews
Mexico

Follow up re: Strange, hard, fly like creature
on December 22, 2009
I was silly and submitted a photo and brief email without first perusing your site and getting the gist.
Please accept my apologies for the lame narrative in my prior submission!
I have also attached one additional photo of THE most interesting insect I have ever laid eyes on. Have you any idea what he could be?
Thanks again! Kambri Crews
Maroma Spa & Resort, near Playa del Carmen Mexico

Treehopper

Treehopper

Dear Kambri Crews,
This is a Treehopper in the family Membracidae.  Many species in the family mimic thorns and they are nearly impossible to see when  resting on a thorny branch.  They may also mimic the lead tip on a pencil.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Treehopper from Mexico, and its edible

  1. Dave says:

    Traditionally consumed in Mexico and elsewhere
    Seasons Greetings one and all,

    The traditional name ‘Periquitos,’ meaning “Parrakeets,” is what this insect goes by (at least that’s the ethno-name; I don’t know which particular species of tree-hoppers it’s applied to.) They were consumed in Mexico and still might be, but I don’t think they’re as popular as chapulines, gusanos, or escamoles — grasshoppers, caterpillars, or ants [again, particular species thereof].
    Some tree-hoppers are also consumed in South America; I once read about an ethnologist who hurt his mouth on an insect’s thorn.

  2. Jackruby says:

    This species is in the genus Umbonia, but the exact species is difficult to nail down from this photo.

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