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Thread started 25 Sep 2005 (Sunday) 10:45
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Insect behavior question (with 2 pictures)

 
TammieO
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Sep 25, 2005 10:45 |  #1

I have a shrub in the backyard covered with these sharpshooters. I think the first picture is an immature one, but not really sure (could only find pictures of the adults). I watched them for awhile and saw them move up and down on the twig, but they always re-orient themselves face down. The other thing that was strange was that they were squirting liquid out their bum. :lol: Anyone know what they're doing?


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Bald ­ Eagle
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Sep 25, 2005 17:29 |  #2

WOW, most fantastic shots of some Leaf-Hoppers, very impressive, Excellent captures, as far as behavior, they also suck sap out of the plants and produce a sugary substance they call "honeydew". Great job on these.:D :D :D :D :D


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Maureen ­ Souza
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Sep 25, 2005 18:03 |  #3

TammieO wrote:
The other thing that was strange was that they were squirting liquid out their bum. :lol: Anyone know what they're doing?

As a nurse, Tammie..... I could imagine it to be all kinds of weird things:D :D . Better not get me started, though.:lol: :lol:
Nice photos, BTW... I am not that great at macro so these are impressive.


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TammieO
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Sep 25, 2005 18:12 |  #4

OMG Maureen. My mother was a nurse so I can just imagine the strange things you see. :lol:
BE, thank you. High praise coming from you.


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sw2001
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Sep 25, 2005 18:22 as a reply to  @ TammieO's post |  #5

great macro pictures! Unfortunately I have also no idea of that behavior.


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mebailey
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Sep 25, 2005 19:44 |  #6

Great pics Tammie! Iam glad someone else knew what they were though...


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TammieO
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Sep 25, 2005 20:26 |  #7

Thanks Mike and sw2001. I guess we'll all learn something today on POTN!


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RockOne
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Sep 25, 2005 20:48 |  #8

Great shots. No idea why they always face down though !


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dancinec
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Sep 25, 2005 22:58 |  #9

Nice captures. I have seen similar leafhoppers do that very same thing. The rate of fluid leaving the anal region seems to increase as the temperature gets warmer. I don't think it is waste, insects usually retain as much moisture as possible and release solid material. I am guessing that it might be a kind of thermoregulation; losing moisture to cool off. If they are cooling off, it might easier for them to release vapor/fluids up into the air.


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TammieO
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Sep 25, 2005 23:09 |  #10

Thanks Steve.
Dennis, I'll buy into your thermoregulation theory!


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Paul ­ A
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Sep 25, 2005 23:10 |  #11

Another hypothesis: As the temp. increases so does their metabolism. The uptake of plant fluids increases as the insects feed and the consequent necesity to discharge excess fluid for balence increases. Apids have a symbiotic relationship of sorts with some species of ants. The ants drink their sugary anal discharge and the aphid benefits by not being attacked by the ants. Don't know if the same occurs with the species in the photo. Why they are head down, I have no idea??


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dancinec
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Sep 25, 2005 23:16 as a reply to  @ Paul A's post |  #12

Paul A wrote:
Another hypothesis: As the temp. increases so does their metabolism. The uptake of plant fluids increases as the insects feed and the consequent necesity to discharge excess fluid for balence increases. Apids have a symbiotic relationship of sorts with some species of ants. The ants drink their sugary anal discharge and the aphid benefits by not being attacked by the ants. Don't know if the same occurs with the species in the photo. Why they are head down, I have no idea??

I have thought about the sugar-ant relationship, but the leafhoppers seem to avoid them and move immediately if an ant or anything comes near them.


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TammieO
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Sep 25, 2005 23:28 |  #13

We thought of the sugar-ant relationship too. We have a lot of ants in the yard, but they don't seem to go near these insects.


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scrumpy
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Sep 26, 2005 00:38 as a reply to  @ TammieO's post |  #14

TammieO wrote:
We thought of the sugar-ant relationship too. We have a lot of ants in the yard, but they don't seem to go near these insects.

Can you blame them? Great shots, well done.


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kallousa
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Sep 26, 2005 04:17 |  #15

Great shots, Tammie.
First time to see those creatures. Thanx for sharing.

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Insect behavior question (with 2 pictures)
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