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Cladonota gonzaloi


This really cute little Treehopper is only 5 mm long and looks like the silhouette of a cat with it's tail raised. The pictures of Cladonota gonzaloi from Ecuador (see reference) are more brown overall, this one has white around the head and undersides as well as a green tinge in the helmet structure. It is very active and flies almost immediately.


On bushes under the San Cristobal Bridge on the Highway between San Cristobal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutierrez, km 15, 1,500 meters.


Treehoppers are truly amazing in many ways. Their fantastic mimetic forms and shapes are well known and admired, however they also have a highly evolved system of vibrational communication both among themselves and with their symbiotic partners (especially ants). They have parental care of the nymphs involving protection of the egg masses as well as the nymphs - and in some species, the adults even make grooves in the plant tissue for the early instars that would otherwise have trouble feeding with their tiny, soft probosces. They have complex relationships both among themselves and with ants and have evolved a digestive system that concentrates sap sugars to entice ants to help protect them in exchange for food. Species with ant caretakers also have the advantage of having their exudates carried away and don't have to worry about fungal infections. Species without ant caretakers have often evolved longer annal tubes to get the excretions as far away from themselves as possible. See this neat article by Rafael Rodriquez et al. VIBRATIONAL COMMUNICATION AND REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION IN THE ENCHENOPA BINOTATA SPECIES COMPLEX OF TREEHOPPERS (HEMIPTERA: MEMBRACIDAE). Evolution, 58(3), 2004, pp. 571–578.

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42 Comments (1–25)

LaurenZarate 7 years ago

Thank you all so much for your comments, Leana, Toshimi, Adarsha :), Chief Red Earth, Marta, Surekha, Fran-the-Naturalist, Tiz, Harsha, Joshua, Sckel :), roemer, Maria, Larry and dotun! I love all of your spottings too.

dotun55 7 years ago

Hey! Congrats on your bizarre Spotting of the Day ;) Never seen anything like this in this part yet.

LarryGraziano 7 years ago

Congrats! Great series!

Maria dB
Maria dB 7 years ago


roemer1 7 years ago

that is amazingly!

Sckel 7 years ago

Congratulations, my friend. :)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 7 years ago

Wow what a great spotting! Well deserved, congrats!

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 7 years ago

Wow! What a crazy looking hopper! Very well deserved SOTD Lauren!

Tiz 7 years ago

What a great spotting :) A BIG congratulations for spotting of the day!

surekha 7 years ago

Congrats, Lauren!

The MnMs
The MnMs 7 years ago

Congratulations! It is such an amazing creature!

Wow! Wonderful spotting! Thanks for the information Lauren.

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 7 years ago

A special Congratulations to you Lauren! Very nice spotting n well deserved:)
Very informative as well :)

ToshimiDowaki 7 years ago

Congratulations! Beautiful series!

Congrats Lauren!

LaurenZarate 7 years ago

Thank you so much for your kind comments Fyn, Rick and Mona :)

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 7 years ago

Pretty little critter !!! Very cool. Congratulations Lauren..

LaurenZarate 7 years ago

Thank you for all your wonderful comments Sergio, Rieko, EnvUnlimited, Reza, Pradeep, Gilma and Luis. :)

RickLampman 7 years ago

Totally COOL !!! Congrats :)

LaurenZarate 7 years ago

Thank you Karen, I feel very honored and happy for this SOTD. Everyday we share with love all the creatures we work so hard to present to Project Noah. Every time I see something new, I can't wait to show it to everyone and I love seeing all the amazing and beautiful spottings from all over the world.

LuisStevens 7 years ago

Congrats Lauren! Amazing SOTD!

I love your tree hopper spotting, LaurenZarate. Congratulations.

Pradeep Kumar
Pradeep Kumar 7 years ago

Congrats Lauren!

Congratulations !

RiekoS 7 years ago

Congratulations, Lauren! I truly hope I will meet this interesting fellow in person :-)

Spotted by

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico

Spotted on Aug 14, 2013
Submitted on Aug 19, 2013

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