Belize Photo of the Day: Tree-Hopper aka Thorn Bug
Today’s picture of the day is the Tree-Hopper and its scientific name is Umbonia crassicornis. Tree-hoppers or Membracidae are strange little creatures closely related to the cicadas and the leaf hoppers. They usually carry an unusual protuberance which may take the form of tree branch horns or spines. The protuberance serves as camouflage and also discourages birds and other animals from eating it, which is the case with the above specie Umbonia, which closely resembles a thorn.
Although these creatures can be found in a variety of habitats, it is most common along the edge of forest and in successional or highly disturbed areas. Their lifespan isn’t too long, individual treehoppers usually live for only a few months. This amazing insect can be found at the Chaa Creek nature reserve feeding on tree sap and are capable of jumping and flying with considerable efficiency, in spite of their cumbersome horn.
Submitted by Naturalist Guide: David Juarez