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Peanut Head Bug - Fulgora laternaria
Topic Started: Sep 5 2012, 02:50 PM (4,321 Views)
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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

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

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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Fulgora laternaria has been found to rest and feed on certain trees in the rain forest that produce resins or toxic chemicals that are consumed by the insect. When danger is detected, it first protects itself by displaying fake eyes on its wings, and perhaps with its quite unusual head, and then chemicals are released as a "skunk-like spray" from the resins it eats. Lizards have also been found to visit these trees. In order to keep predators away, lanternflies mimic lizards with their reptilian-like enlarge head and other color and structural features.

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Distribution and habitat
Rainforests from the central and tropical lowlands of Mexico, to South America.
Edited by linnaeus1758, Jun 13 2014, 01:18 PM.
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