Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A new leafhopper: Bambusimukaria quinquepunctata

Leafhoppers are one of the ten largest families of plant-feeding insects with at least 20,000 species which is more than all species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians together. Leafhoppers have mouthparts for piercing and sucking, enabling them to feed on plant sap hence most of them are herbivores. However, some are known to eat smaller insects, such as aphids, on occasion. 

Chinese researchers have now found a species that feeds exclusively on bamboo, hence the genus name. The species name is a combination of the Latin words “quinque” (five) and “punctata” (spots), and refers to five small dark spots on head and thorax.

For the experts: A new genus and species, Bambusimukaria quinquepunctata gen. & sp. n., feeding on bamboo in Guizhou and Fujian, China, are described and illustrated. The characters of crown, frontoclypeus, forewing venations and male genitalia place the new genus in the tribe Mukariini.

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