On a recent Nature Trail to the Arekere reserve forest we noticed an insect which was very well camouflaged on the bark of an Eucalyptus tree.
Planthoppers are named so because of their remarkable resemblance to leaves and other plants of their environment and from the fact that they often “hop” for quick transportation in a similar way to that of grasshoppers. However, planthoppers generally walk very slowly so as not to attract attention. Distributed worldwide, all members of this group are plant-feeders, though surprisingly few are considered pests.Planthoppers have their sucking mouth-parts to feed on host plants by sucking up the sap. They can be found resting on the main tree trunk or stems of their host plants, usually Eucalyptus or Acacia.
Female Planthopper looks brighter than males.
On heading further we noticed some Planthopper eggs covered with a white waxy substance characteristic of this species.
I had not seen anything like this before so had no clue about where its face was , but this insect looked like an interesting mask so went on to click it. With the help of a seasoned Naturalist and the link http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_planthoppers/EurybrachyidBiology.htm. I learned that this was an Nymph of Eurybrachidae species.
Planthopper nymphs can be found on leaves, stems and tree trunks. They are usually dark brown in colour, becomes lighter-brown colour when grown. Most planthopper nymphs look very similar. The two long upwards pointing “tails” are the characteristic. This nymph belongs to the Eurybrachidae species.
The Green faced Gum Hopper found in Australia has the eye-pattern markings on their tail -end wing-tips. Those markings effectively making the insects appear to be something that is facing the opposite direction. A confused predator, when striking at the mimic, most likely comes up with nothing more than a piece of wing and the insects get a chance to escape. The mimicry is known as Self mimicry.
Some interesting links to the planthoppers camouflage