Treehoppers: bugs that look like Dali designed them


18 Responses to “Treehoppers: bugs that look like Dali designed them”

  1. -v- says:

    They look kinda like strawberry fungus

    The ones in the picture are yellow, but the older ones are red/brown. Maybe there’s something similar where ever these guys come from?

  2. BTWBFDIMHO says:


  3. Moriarty says:

    While I admit it doesn’t look appetizing, that seems too… specific, not to mention awkward, just to deter predators. It’s got to be sensory, or mimicking something, or good for hanging its laundry, or something.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      It’s got to be sensory, or mimicking something, or good for hanging its laundry, or something.

      I agree. Nature selects for a lot of seemingly goofy traits, but this has to be one of the goofiest.

      Then again, how ’bout them ceratopsians? I’ll grant this bug is somewhat more elaborately adorned than your garden-variety Styracosaur, but I imagine it also had a few zillion more generations within which to refine its sartorial tastes. Still, sexiness alone seems a stretch. It’s hard to picture what combative or defensive advantage the treehopper’s rack might provide, and as camouflage it seems counterintuitive unless the critter likes to hide out in a pit full of skewered strawberries.

      Hell, maybe it just needs to scan for native lifeforms and communicate its findings to the mothership. That would make the most sense.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is all very Seussian.

    Geisha Asobi! I haven’t thought of that blog in forever. Glad to see they’re still around.

  5. Christopher Gronlund says:

    I recently needed a newspaper cover for a presentation. I found a great image at the Library of Congress’ Flickr feed…and it just-so-happens to feature not only treehoppers, but an artist’s 1910 what-if depiction of giant treehoppers attacking a crowded street:

    • Donald Petersen says:

      And by the way, thank you, Mr Gronlund, for my favorite image of the week! (And it’s only Monday!)

      I wonder which variety was deadliest: the ball-crowned, the three-horned, or the snake-necked?

    • Bender says:

      Yes, thanks for that Christopher. A reminder that people in the dusty past were well versed with the idea of kooky randomness.

  6. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Those things might be no more functional than a peacock’s tailfeathers, but they sure look sensory to me.

    A ball of chitin garlanded with cilia could conceivably detect a lot of things, ranging from a simple extension of the sense of touch (like a cat’s whiskers) to something as exotic as barometric pressure (and thus, altitude). Sounds like a tremendously interesting subject of study to me!

  7. Donald Petersen says:

    Nobody loves an excess of excrescences.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tell me again that the aliens haven’t invaded Earth… here we have undeniable PROOF that they have!

  9. Anonymous says:

    looks like strawberries on thorns, amirite?

  10. Ugly Canuck says:

    Lots of critters with bizarre heads popping up on the ‘net of late….

  11. alllie says:

    So they have hairy balls…on their heads?

    That is just soo wrong.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Have any of you seen Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (anime movie from Studio Ghibli)? This looks JUST LIKE the insects from the toxic jungle.

  13. Chaoskitten says:

    It’s a big, obviously non bug-like, shape to hide beneath. If you’ve ever tried to hunt for pest insects who hide on branches amongst foliage, that makes them extremely tricky to find. And yeah, all that spiky chitinous mass probably isn’t very tasty, sure would make purty jewellery though.

  14. Robert says:

    WTF! WTF, nature?! (curls into a ball and shivers) WTF!!

  15. Axx says:

    Just when I think bugs can’t get any more disgusting god throws out some shit like this. What’s the word coming to?

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