A beautiful bug

You should know know by now that in entomology the word “bug” is a term of art, referring specifically to members of the order Hemiptera, which includes creatures like aphids, cicadas, and leafhoppers. Things like “ladybugs” are really beetles, in the order Coleoptera. Here’s a “true bug” picture taken by naturalist/photographer Piotr Nackrecki (personal website here, natural history website here), with his caption indented. It’s one of the most beautiful insects I’ve ever seen.

A beautiful Neotropical gem – lantern bug Scaralis neotropicalis from Costa Rica.



  1. GBJames
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink


    But someone bit off a chunk of that wing!

  2. BobTerrace
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink


  3. Mark Reaume
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    That would make a beautiful stained glass window design.

    • Posted January 26, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Where to you think the stained glass makers get their ideas? 🙂

  4. busterggi
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Well that’s probably not mimicing anything.

  5. Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Amazing, however we have some fantast leafhoppers back here in the UK check the link


  6. Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Micks Blog and commented:
    This entry was written by whyevolutionistrue and posted on January 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm and filed under insects, photography. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

  7. Joseph McClain
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I saw some of these several years ago back in West Virginia, when we had a cicada swarm during Jimson weed season.

  8. Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    So is this a cicada relative?

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes. This is not a cicada, but it is in the same order and does resemble them.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Thx, wondered the same. Looks like a cicada from Haight-Ashbury. Beautiful!

  9. Claudia Baker
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Wow, beautiful!

  10. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    That is one lovely ‘bug’. It seems to be using an artful combination of pigments + structural colors. The blue mainly looks to be iridescent structural color.

  11. Cindy
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    That is a gorgeous bug.

  12. mordacious1
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    It would make a nice brooch.

    (It’s beautiful…let’s kill it)

  13. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    We have things almost exactly like that in New Zealand – cicadas, I think. Green, chunky, and about an inch long. They fill the air with their loud chirping for a couple of weeks. (I saw an anecdote about how, when an episode of ‘Hercules’ the TV series was being shot in west Auckland, the sound crew were running round whacking the trees with microphone booms to try and drive the cicadas away. Fruitless, they still had to re-record all the dialogue in the studio.)

    Very solidly built, you can (if you approach slowly) grab them by their closed wings without damaging them.

    They will also walk onto your finger but do NOT let them do that because they will, presumably motivated by curiosity, drill into your finger with their proboscis and they cling on tight and are damned hard to shake off! (Guess how I found out…)


    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:32 am | Permalink

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and presume that it was reproductive drive and not curiosity that motivated your guest.

      An article I came across a while ago said the females cut a slit in the bark of a tree in which to lay their eggs. After hatching, the larvae fall to the ground and spend all the intervening years underground.

      I take it that your dedication to science is not sufficient motivation to conduct the obvious experiment which would verify this conjecture.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 26, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

        So, rather than checking to see if I was edible, it was actually planning to lay eggs in me like a miniature version of the creature in Alien?. I have just gone right off cicadas!



  14. Posted January 26, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    That is a truly gorgeous bug. Very nice!

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