Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Leaf hoppers

On the far south side of the University estate, beyond the Botanic Garden and bordering agricultural land leased to Houghall College, is a wonderful area of sheltered rough grassland that blooms with marsh orchids in Spring before the grasses and taller herbs take over about now. Today the area was absolutely alive with thousands upon thousands of this beautiful little insect - the Green Leafhopper Cicadella viridis. As you walk through the grass they leap and bound in front of you propelled by a flick of the hind legs.

The photograph is of a female. Males have darker blue or purple coloured wings.

Leafhoppers make a living by tapping into the sap in grasses.

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