Can anyone tell me what these are? I seriously would like to know.
Are they a new species or an uncommon slug? I found them in Africa, in the rain forest.
I talked to a man who is the director at the Laboratory for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics in the New York State Nuseum about the photo. He said, "these are nymphs (larvae) of a species of planthopper in the insect family Flatidae (order: Hemiptera, suborder: Auchenorrhyncha). Flatid planthoppers are found all around the world, and like all other planthoppers, are exclusively herbivorous (they are sap-feeders; their mouthparts have evolved into a structure that is essentially a straw, with which they suck phloem sap out of their host plants). Flatidae are known for their nymphs producing these waxy plumes all over their bodies, often giving them a fuzzy (and usually white) appearance, often with longish, wax 'tails' like in this photo. Very often, the nymphs form large aggregations, so it is not uncommon to encounter a plant with hundreds of these fuzzy little critters covering it. It's impossible to determine the exact species from this photo, but it is definitely in the family Flatidae."
Thank you so much Caveman Etris. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty in answering my question. I have been trying for years to get anyone to pursue this and have had no success at all. Your determination to get me an answer to my question is very much appreciated. I know you sent a lot of e-mails and made a lot of contacts to come up with this information. I want to say a heart-felt Thank You. Lenzy
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