Treehoppers from Costa Rica

Subject: There are so many things happening here
Location: San Marco de los Santos, Costa Rica
January 31, 2016 9:55 pm
Hello! I was walking through the chilly mountain region of Los Santos, Costa Rica, and almost walked straight into this bug party happening on a branch of a tree in a city park.
I can identify the wasp, and up near the top there seems to a Blue Morpho cocoon, but what’s attacking the Morpho? And what are those robotic looking white guys? And the bright yellow guys?
The wasp wasn’t going anywhere, either. He looked almost as is he were chaperoning the bug party, and had no intention of flying off.
Signature: Abby

Treehoppers, Membracis mexicana, Adults and Nymphs
Treehoppers, Membracis mexicana, Adults and Nymphs

Dear Abby,
The insects in question, both the “robotic looking white guys” and the “bright yellow guys” are Treehoppers, and they are the same species.  The yellow individuals are the winged adults and the white individuals are the immature nymphs.  We identified the species as
 Membracis mexicana on FlickR.  We verified that ID on Arthropoda Mexicana where there are images of both nymphs and adults.  Encyclopedia of Life also has images of the adults.  We believe that you have mistaken a bud or pod on the plant for a Blue Morpho chrysalis, which is understandable because this image from pBase resembles what is on the plant.  The bud or pod is infested with Aphids.  We will also try to eventually provide a species of family identity of the wasp.

Treehoppers, Wasp and Aphids
Treehoppers, Wasp and Aphids

Thanks so much! 🙂
Looking again, a morpho cocoon wouldn’t hang like that, you’re right! I jumped to that since they’re so common here.
I’m going too look into the treehoppers a bit.
Thanks for the info!

Leave a Comment