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Golden eucalyptus lerps

Creiis longipennis


Tiny houses made from a sugary substance and covered with golden floss. The animal that lives here is a plant sucking bug called a psyllid. The dome has a fine diagonal woven texture and the largest ones were about 6mm across. The creature itself was nymphal, shades of yellow with a soft, ribbed body, a couple of spots on either side, and a yellow mouth tube.


On older leaves of a eucalyptus in a local nature reserve.


The name 'lerp' comes from the aboriginal word 'larp' Dense colonies create thick encrustations and were often collected for food. I lifted one side of this lerp trying not to damage it and, being a sugary, mix I was able to moisten the raised edge and 'glue' it back to the leaf. I think it worked well. I haven't seen these golden coloured ones before and wonder about the fact that the creature is a similar colour. I also considered the fact that often we find just the domes with no floss on top and maybe the floss is highly vulnerable to dissolving in a light rain or even overnight dew. Based on this idea I suspect these might be very fresh ones. Like miniature cicadas these creatures create unique micro-sounds... Order: Hemiptera Suborder: Sternorrhyncha Superfamily: Psylloidea Family: Aphalaridae Subfamily: Spondyliaspidinae

No species ID suggestions

52 Comments (1–25)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Thanks Arya.

Arya 5 years ago

Congrats Mark, animal architecture is amazing!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Thanks Shanna, sintija and Maria !!

Maria dB
Maria dB 5 years ago

This is a marvelous spotting - congratulations!

Sintija Valucka
Sintija Valucka 5 years ago

Amazing spotting!!! :)

ShannaB 5 years ago

This is a stunning shot, Argy. Congrats.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Thank you all so much. Glad you enjoyed it.

AshleyT 5 years ago

Congrats Mark, such an interesting design!

Argy,this artist :-) turn him self famous,a golden series ,congrats again on the SOTD

sarah in the woods
sarah in the woods 5 years ago

Amazing color and design. It looks fluorescent! I love the floss on top. This is definitely inspiring. Excellent capture and congrats on the SOTD.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 5 years ago

Congratulations, Mark. Absolutely deserved.

A well deserve SOTD, congratulations, Mark Ridgway.

Tom15 5 years ago

Congrats Mark on this very interesting SOTD!

Bhagya Herath
Bhagya Herath 5 years ago

Congratulations dear Mark..... and thanks for sharing this super spotting...

srimanta 5 years ago

excellent spotting......regards..... :)Sri

KarenL 5 years ago

Wow! Truly spectacular Mark!
Congratulations on a well-deserved spotting of the day!

surekha 5 years ago

Congratulations on this wondrous spotting, Mark!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Than you RiekoS

RiekoS 5 years ago

Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing such beautiful and wonderful spotting. It really is amazing about our nature.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

I'll sleep with my bike helmet on then.

Sckel 5 years ago

Congratulations Mark. You raised the hideout of the small insect, leaving him naked. I think it will take revenge. Prepare yourself.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Thanks Shekainah, Neil, Lauren. You're right Neil. Leuba and I often discuss how nature makes human fashions seem so ordinary.

LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Very neat spotting Mark and great information! So elaborate a structure.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

Now that is quite spectacular. Wouldn't be surprised if some young milliner fashioned something like this for someone's head at the next Melbourne Cup.

Congratulations Mark, what a sweet spotting.

Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.86, Long: 145.32

Spotted on Jan 11, 2014
Submitted on Jan 11, 2014

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