Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

11 May 2014 | Hoppers | Suborder Auchenorrhyncha |

Over the week, I did a rework on the grouping of my hoppers' pictures. Hoppers here refer to a group of insects that comes under the suborder Auchenorrhyncha. To be clear, they are not grasshoppers. Except for the cicadas which most people are familiar with, the other members in this suborder are quite obscure. On top of that, most of them are tiny, making them even harder to be noticed. As hoppers, my impression is that they are supposed to hop around but in reality, they seem to flying from one location to another.

photo photo I had wanted to tidy up that messy and confusing hopper section for quite a while but was unable to figure out how to group them properly. The inspiration finally came a week after my trip to the tree-top walk trail. During that trip, I spotted a tiny hopper that looked like a bean sitting on a leaf. At first, I thought that it was a kind of fly or beetle. After a deeper dive into the Internet search, it turned out to be an Issid Planthopper. One discovery lead to another. I finally was able to make some sense out of the hopper group, though still pretty shallow in term of the knowledge on this rather foreign group of insects.

With the new found knowledge, I managed to divide the planthoppers into 3 sub-sections: (1) Flatid Planthopper, (2) Issid Planthopper and (3) Ricaniid Planthopper. At rest, Flatid Planthopper has wings that fold in a vertical position, while Ricaniid Planthopper has wings that spread out flat horizontally, resembling the moth. Issid Planthopper is probably the most difficult to spot as it is the smallest among the three sub-groups and can be easily missed.

Ant loves hoppers, especially their nymphs. It farms and protects the hopper nymphs. When large contingent of ants gathered on plants and remain motionless most of the time, they may be farming some hopper nymphs or other bugs such as mealy bugs, aphids and scale insects.

To use any of the image(s), please read the conditions carefully. To correct any error, please contact me.