Here’s the insect!

Here’s the answer to “What’s that insect?“, via Twitter. Thanks to Matthew Cobb for sussing this out.

Yes, it’s a hemipteran (a “true bug”) in the genus Formiscurra (F. indicus), and it’s also a planthopper that’s an ant mimic. Notice the fake head in front of the real head!

See more here, including this photo of a hopper from the Catching Flies site.  Caption: “This hopper is facing right, the forelegs are waved like feelers.”

formiscurra-1

10 Comments

  1. ploubere
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    The big-nose bug.

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I leave WEIT to teach a class for a few hours, and look what happens!

    I have to admit I would have said ‘fly’, b/c the head has some fly-like character, and the antennae are short, trunkated into a bristle called the arista. That is a character for many flies.
    But it is also a character in planthoppers, and in many of that group the antennae are ventral to the compound eyes, like this one is.

  3. Kevin
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow. @POTUS has a comment:

    “Fake head” on bug thingy. NOT NICE! UNFAIR!

    • nwalsh
      Posted February 2, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Fake head? Donald has one of those.

  4. Posted February 2, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    This centimeter-wide moth was identified by evolutionary biologist and lepidopterist Vazrick Nazari, who announced the find in a paper published Tuesday in the open-access journal ZooKeys. Nazari settled on the name N. donaldtrumpi because the silky yellow-white scales these moths develop on their heads in adulthood reminded him of the President-elect’s signature hairdo

  5. frednotfaith2
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    The Zaphod Beeblebrox of the insect world!

  6. Ronaldo Marin
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Jerry I just sent a message through your facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/jerry.coyne  ). I hope you can reply me soon. Could you confirm if you received it? Thank you. Ronaldo   

  7. loren russell
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Just to make this more weird: This is just the male. The female Formiscurra lacks the “ant-head” protuberance and probably lacks the ant waist. Can’t find a picture, but she’s said to be a typical, very dumpy little “piglet bug”.

    So, did this bit of predator deception start with sexual selection for a nasal horn, that happens to be just antlike enough to fool a near-sighted bird?

  8. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    To quote I I Rabi,
    “Who ordered that?”

    cr

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Delightful! Well done Shyamal L., thank you M. Cobb and of course PCC(E)!


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