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Lystra lanata Linnaeus (Synonym: Cicada lanata Linné, 1758)
Gorgeous spotted black-and-white fulgurid with red eyes, and a white 'rooster-tail'
Found on leaf-litter during jungle walk along the Amazon near Iquitos, Peru.
After a LOT of searching and dead-ends, I contacted Eric Eaton (Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America) who recognized it as a fulgorid and connected me to Lois O'Brien, an authority on fulgorids. Lois O'Brien's comments: "You have 2 beautiful pictures of Lystra lanata Linnaeus! I've never seen one alive, but they are in almost every museum, including mine (by trading), because they are so beautiful all entomologists collect at least one. I don't know what Lystra means, but lanata, of course, comes from lana meaning wool. There is a second species in the genus that has the white wooly spot on the back reaching to the side (costal) edge of the wings, and it is named pulverulenta. When Linne named it he called it Cicada linata, and apparently thought it was from India! Our catalog (1947) now lists it from French Guiana and Surinam to Brazil (and Jamaica and China, which are both unlikely) but does not list Peru. It was supposed to have been illustrated by Sulzer in 1776 in a German paper, and by Stoll in 1781-maybe the books were rare. Anyway, the tail is produced by the insect from pores in a "wax" plate, and the cells that produce it have been illustrated. Females and nymphs seem to produce more than males, and chemically it is not a wax, several esters composed of a 30-40 carbon alcohol and 30-40 carbon acid. Essentially the same stuff scales make. It is used to cover eggs often-repels water, and sometimes parasitic insects. One paper said it let the insect slip out of a spider web. Anyway, maybe 5-6 genera and 20 species grow it this long. In one species in Mexico, the Indians told Hogue, I think, that the insects flew into the sky about sunset and the rays flashed on the "wax" so the insects looked like giant snowflakes. If you want to read about some myths about the giant fulgorid, the peanut bug Fulgora, from South America, Ed Ross did a paper called Fearsome Fulgora in Pacific Discover 47(3):19-23. It was supposed to zig-zag through the forest killing everything it touched, for one thing. And if you are interested in the group, I did a paper on The Wild Wonderful Word of Fulgoromorpha in Denisia, published by a museum in Austria on Auchenorrhyncha, the jumping Homoptera." NOTE: Lois and her husband recently donated their vast collections to Arizona State University. See http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2...