Antianthe sp.


Antianthe sp., Treehopper image from Nicaragua

Family: Membracidae

Subfamily: Smiliinae

Tribe: Smiliini

Length: hopper in the photo 7.3 mm; hoppers in the genus 7-16 mm


Members of the genus Antianthe are found from the southwestern United States south to Brazil.

In this genus the eyes are higher than they are wide, and they bulge. The pronotum is compressed laterally, and is tall above the humeri and sloping to the rear. Godoy et al. (2006) note that "the apex of the hind tibiae and the tarsi are peculiarly spined."

Females are noticeably larger than the males.

Various species of this genus are tended by ants, stingless bees, and wasps. Their parasitic enemies include Chalcidoid Wasps in the family Mymaridae and flies in the family Syrphidae (Godoy et al., 2006). Hoppers in the genus Antianthe are often associated with plants in the Nightshade family.

Photo location: Matagalpa province, highlands of Nicaragua.

Antianthe sp. treehopper with ant, Nicaragua

Above: This hopper moved little, if at all, over a period of three days.

Below: The hopper was butted up against a spine on a nightshade species (Solanaceae).

Antianthe sp. treehopper on nightshade, Nicaragua