A Gorgeous Little Bug!

Yesterday morning I went out to the local, natural prairie to see what was happening. Actually, I learned over the weekend that Sulphur butterflies now laying eggs in my neck of the woods, on Wild Senna and Partridge Pea wildflowers. With plenty of Partridge Peas at this location, I thought I’d see what I could find. Well, the temperature was beginning to rapidly rise as I reached the prairie, so I check out a few of the pea plants (no eggs found), so I thought I’d look around to see what else was happening.

I walked over to a large patch of Coreopsis and found several interesting creatures. The most unique, and quite colorful, was the Scarlet-and-Green Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea):

Scarlet-and-Green Leafhopper

Scarlet-and-Green Leafhopper

Scarlet-and-Green Leafhopper

When I first identified this insect, I was not sure I had the correct ID. Afterall, it wasn’t scarlet and green, as it’s name implies. But a quick read in one of my reference books pointed out that these guys can either have forewings that are bright green or bright blue. They are very, very small, about 3/8″ in length (this one appeared to be approx. 1/4″ long). Their food source is juices of weeds and cultivated plants. Being a Master Gardener, this trait is typically not one we like to see in an insect! But being so small, and so colorful, I really don’t think this little guy could eat very much! The adults overwinter in leaf trash on the ground.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/3.5 to f/8
  • Shutter 1/200 sec. to 1/1000 sec.



Posted in Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography
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