Tree-hoppers Use a Stealthy Disguise


Did you know that there is a tropical insect that looks exactly like a thorn?

At first glance, an Umboina, otherwise known as a tree-hopper, looks just like another thorn on a branch. The tree-hopper is very small, measuring only one centimeter long. It can escape predators because it is camouflaged to look like a thorn, which makes it hard to find. If it were discovered, the tree-hopper’s spiky shape would make it hard to swallow, discouraging the predator from eating it.

Tree-hoppers can be found in tropical America. The bugs live on shrubs and suck juice from the branches. They can fly but when they land, their triangle-shaped wings become just another pesky thorn.

Next time you see a spiky branch, there might just be sly tree-hoppers hiding in the brambles.

[Source: Jungle Bug. Masters of Camouflage and Mimicry]

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