Friday, May 18, 2007

Lantern bug

It's a real treat to find this beautiful creature when on a tour. Funny, in my post yesterday morning I talked about the copaíba tree and in the afternoon I conducted a forest walk with a small group of visiting Germans. I took my camera with me because I was hoping that we might see our friend, the so-called jequitiranamboia. It's an indigenous word, which translates into something like the "bug with an empty head", referring to the false dragon-like head. In the image you can see what I'm describing. Click in on the thumbnail pix to get a better view. The real head is back of that protrusion. See the eyes? There were three of these creatures on the tree trunk, which is a copaiba tree. I have never seen lantern bugs on any other trees, other than on this copaíba. I can say, almost for sure, that the sweet smelling copaíba oil (resin) is the attraction. The family of insects is Fulgoridae and the species is Fulgora laternaria.