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Peanut Head Bug - Fulgora laternaria
Topic Started: Sep 5 2012, 02:50 PM (1,074 Views)
linnaeus1758
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Peanut Head Bug - Fulgora laternaria

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Fulgoridae
Genus: Fulgora
Species: Fulgora laternaria

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Size: 80 - 90 mm.
Range: Central and South America.

Description
The main attraction of this flying insect is its head, all equal to that of a reptile. Not only the form but the strokes of brown tones, a face with a lizard form, with frightening eyes and teeth. Originally the head was believed to be luminescent. Of course, this is just optical illusions. The maximum length of this insect is 100 mm.
The extension of the body is sand colour or tan, with digressions ocher, brown and black. By deploying the inner wings can be seen two huge circles or eyes, as a minimum version of peacock, which serve as prevention of aerial predators. The wingspan is up to 150 mm.
In northern South America exists the myth that if somebody is bitten by one of these insects, he or she must have sex within 24 hours to prevent an otherwise incurable death.
The great coloration of the peanut head bug, can not be seen in the museum specimens, and its color is due to a waxy surface layer that becomes liquid in the drying ovens.

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Behavior
To ward off its enemies, spreads its wings and raises its head, however, often these tricks do not work. If disturbed constantly this could fly out and drop a foul odor very similar to a skunk and stretches its wings, showing the two large eyes on the hind wings.
When they are upset can hit the head against the trunk of a tree.
Adults are most abundant in november and december (the end of the rainy season) in june (the beginning of the rainy season) and in july.
The habit of hitting trees with the head, is attributed to the perception of the climate, specifically with periods of rain. In effect, as their typical environment are abundant areas of moisture concentration, their life cycles depend on the presence or absence of water.
It is popular the story, in the Andean region of Central America, linked to the belief that this insect, attacks people. It is its bizarre appearance which suggested that the employing of the same proboscis to drink the sap plant, that the animal could suck the blood of people.
The truth is that the Fulgora laternaria feeds on thick liquids of plants, mainly from some trees as the olive tree, the locust and lagartillo.

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Distribution and habitat
Rainforests from the central and tropical lowlands of Mexico, to South America.

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Edited by Taipan, Sep 11 2012, 05:58 PM.
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