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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...
http://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:b... Order: Hemiptera
Check out the likely adult here https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/74...
Spotted on Jan 11, 2014
Submitted on Jan 11, 2014
and 54 other people favorited this spotting