Monday, September 26, 2011

The Widefooted Treehopper

Campylenchia latipes- Widefooted Treehopper

I apologize for jumping between states.  South Carolina offered so many awesome photographic opportunities.  There are enough images that I'm excited about that I'll probably be sprinkling them in now and then for the next few weeks.  But now we're headed back to Ohio.

One of the great challenges for any photographer is to find interesting subjects close to where you are.  I once heard that there are a lifetime of amazing photographic opportunities only a mile from where you live.  I don't need to travel to South Carolina to find amazing images- the opportunities in our own backyard are limitless.

Take this widefooted treehopper, for example.  One evening last week when it wasn't raining, Megan and I were running Weston around the backyard.  I stopped to examine the patch of Canada goldenrod  that I have let grow up along our back fence.  One stem of goldenrod had a thorn.  Canada goldenrod with a thorn?  How could that be possible?

After I moved in closer, I saw that this "thorn" was actually a treehopper.  The diversity of these tiny little bugs is amazing. And the mimicry that that this particular species possesses is even cooler.  What great camouflage.  But you can't fool us-  we botanists know Canada goldenrod doesn't have thorns!



  1. Thanks Diana- I was quite please to find this really fascinating creature in our own back yard.

  2. Oh my goodness! How did you take that picture to make it look so close to the Treehopper??

  3. Thanks Brian- I have a macro lens on my camera lens which let's me focus down to life size. I then cropped this vertical image out of a horizontal image. Today's digital cameras have so much resolution, we can do some pretty extreme crops and still get amazingy detail in the final image.

  4. so cool, what a great macro and fascinating critter.


  5. Thanks Dan- Isn't this one cool? Apparently this is the only species of treehopper in the east that has a horn like this. I'm going to miss the insects- it's supposed to get down into the 30's this weekend for nighttime lows.