I encountered this leafhopper (still need to identify species) with distinct brochosomes almost immediately upon approaching the Adrian Archbold Lodge, our meeting center at the Archbold Biological Station in Venus, FL. Click to enlarge.
“Welcome to everyone who is curious about biological exploration. I encourage you to do as many famous Archbold scientists have done – look closer, make observations, and ask questions. Archbold Biological Station represents all that can be achieved with great science, great generosity, and a celebrated ecosystem.”
Hilary Swain, Executive Director, Archbold Biological Station
Archbold Biological Station in Venus, FL was Tom Eisner’s favorite natural history location. It is a natural haven for the study of wildlife, as well as the location where he made most of his discoveries and felt most at home as a naturalist. He devoted an entire chapter, “Wonders from Wonderland,” to Archbold Biological Station in “For Love of Insects.”
BugShot 2012 was based at Archbold Biological Station. I can’t come up with enough superlatives to describe the Bugshot 2012 experience. The Florida scrub was new to me, and I observed and photographed a number of species I hadn’t encountered in the past.
More than that, BugShot 2012 was an exceptional opportunity to learn additional biology regarding both familiar and unfamiliar species, a myriad of techniques, and an opportunity to be part of a developing community of scientists, educators, computer programmers, and numerous other professionals that have contributed to the entomological community and are broadening its reach.
I did have some Hurricane Isaac-associated challenges returning, but in the end I was able to get home, and even had opportunity to be bumped up to experience the ultra-decadence of first class. That should be worth a blog entry in itself!
I’ll be putting up images this week as time allows. At this point I’m really tired, but delighted to have had the BugShot 2012 experience.
On a side note, I will post more about brochosomes later, but you may want to check out http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~rakitov/brochosomes.html to learn more about these intricately shaped proteinaceous secretory particles, produced by the Malpighian tubules of leafhoppers (Cicadellidae).
Leafhopper release brochosome-containing secretions through the hindgut after molting, and apply it onto the fresh integument. It appears that the resulting particulate coat prevents leafhoppers from getting trapped in their sticky excrement or water. Some leafhoppers also use brochosomes to cover the egg chambers made by ovipositing females.
More to come!
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