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Plant Hopper

Cedusa californica

a leaf-litter insect, Cedusa californica, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed at Seven Springs, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. 28 May 2011. Length is about 2.5 mm. The head is facing downwards where a darker eye is seen on the yellowish head. Identified by Andy Hamilton.

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Sitting on a leaf this powdery blue bug could look like a fleck of sky light and thus avoid predation by a bird. Facing downwards and with a pair jumping legs ready to spring it would quickly disappear if approached. This is the adult form which can fly as well as hop. The immatures are brown and without fully developed wings. These immatures, or nymphs, reside within the leaf litter below the trees and reportedly feed on fungi that grow there. Future explorations should include looking for these offspring and learning more about their role in the sycamore woodland ecosystem. The brown nymphs would likely blend into the brownish litter making them difficult to find.

Derbidae -- a Plant Hopper Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 21 January 2013