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The treehopper ,Cyphonia clavata


The treehopper (Cyphonia clavata ) – “a species that lives in Middle and South America, and looks more like a creature from Greek mythology than a product of natural selection.

At first, you see what looks like an ant; only on the second look, it becomes evident that the supposed ‘ant’ is actually not an ant at all, but an illusion created by a curious protrusion extending from the insect’s pronotum.

The main body of the treehopper is almost buried under the large ant-like shape and because of its pale colouration, much less obvious than the dark-coloured ‘ant’. The ‘ant’ presumably serves to deter predators as the treehopper struts about its habitat
This peculiar-looking insect has also been depicted historically several times, as exemplified here by illustrations by (from top to bottom) Caspar Stoll (1788), Jean Antoine Coquebert de Montbret (1799–1804) and William W. Fowler (1900).”

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