Subject: peanut head bug (fulgora laternaria) question
Location: South America
March 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Why does fulgora laternaria have its incredibly distinct head shape?
Signature: James Bowler
We are not sure even scientists know what evolutionary trajectory caused the Peanut Headed Bug or Lanternfly to develop this unique appearance. We will see what we can unearth on the internet. According to Virtual Rainforest: “Scientists think that the head is supposed to imitate a lizard’s head, and animals that don’t eat lizards are scared away. It is part of a complex anti-predator scheme the bug uses. The peanut-head has large red and black spots on its underwings that look like large eyes when the bug spreads its wings. If these don’t scare away predators, the bug releases a skunk-like spray. In the rainforest there are so many things that want to eat the peanut-head that it needs a lot of defenses.”