What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Stick or Mantis?
Location: Silver Lake, Los Angeles
October 20, 2013 1:13 am
Hi Daniel,
This is the funkiest bug I’ve ever seen in the Red Car Property neighborhood (Silver Lake) Los Angeles. A neighbor submitted it, his kid found it yesterday on their front walk. It’s a shaded , cooler temperature part of the neighborhood in a canyon with lots of trees. One of the neighbors has a lot of exotic plants, timber bamboo.
Link to post: http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/2013/10/riverside-place-alien.html
Photos: Jonathan Vandiveer
Signature: Diane E

Unknown, probably Exotic Treehopper

Unknown, probably Exotic Planthopper

Hi Diane,
This is neither a Mantis nor a Phasmid Stick Insect.  We believe it is a Free Living Hemipteran, probably in the Planthopper superfamily Fulgoroidea, and we are nearly 100% certain it is a nonnative exotic.  We are going to contact Eric Eaton to get his opinion.  Meanwhile, our initial search of Fulgoroidea on BugGuide did not produce any matches.  Native members of this superfamily are generally small, and the size of this individual is very significant.  We wonder if the person who took the photo managed to capture the specimen.  We suspect the Natural History Museum will be interested.  We hope to get back to you with something more substantial very soon.  

Planthopper:  Exotic Import, we presume

Headless Mantis

Fulgorid Planthoppers, commonly called Lanternflies, are much larger and diverse in the tropics.  We have some colorful examples from the family on our site, including the Longan Chicken from Hong Kong, an unidentified Lanternfly from Borneo and the Peanut Headed Bug from Central and South America, also known as the Machaca.  With global travel ever increasing, we are finding more and more exotic species far from their native lands. 

I knew it was a weird one!  Thanks Daniel.    Jonathan, did you by any chance keep the “funky bug?”  Pls see Daniel’s response & reply all.  I’ll update the post later this AM.

Julian Donahue provides some input
Looks like a Dictyopharidae planthopper. See http://bugguide.net/node/view/96

Eric Eaton Provides a Correction:  Headless Mantis
This is actually a headless Chinese Mantis, probably a male ;-).  It is also missing its front pair of legs.

Wow, thanks Eric.  This one really had us fooled.  The folks who submitted it never indicated it was dead.  We wonder if he fell victim to an amorous encounter with a hungry mate.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California

4 Responses to Headless Mantis, NOT Planthopper found in Silverlake!!!

  1. Diane E says:

    My enthusiasm for identifying the unusual bug clouded my usual skepticism. I sincerely apologize for not asking if the bug was dead or alive when my source found it. Thank you again for your time.

    At least I learned something about Planthoppers today!

  2. Diane E says:

    Word from the photographer, Vandiveer: the creature was very much still alive when he shot photos yesterday and it was still walking around this morning. It appears dead now, but the legs still move when touched 6 hours later.

Leave a Reply

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