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The Socially Distanced Treehopper Aggregation of 2021
2021-08-16
The 29th Annual Treehopper Gathering was held 4-6 June 2021, at the Little Orleans Campground, Little Orleans, Maryland. The timing was fortunate because participants had time to become fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus before the gathering. Fourteen people and two "treehopper-curious" dogs attended this year (Figs. 1 and 2) and we had a lot of catching up to do.

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Figs. 1-2. Group Photos. 1, fully masked and socially-distanced. 2, unmasked and less distanced (left to right in Fig. 2): Stuart McKamey, Lewis Deitz, Kelley Tilmon, Matthew Wallace, Andrew Short, Mark Rothschild, Eli Wyman, Hava Amsbury, Wil Winter, Dawn Flynn, Ashley Kennedy, Anthony Deczynski, and Jamie Zahniser, plus dogs "Shaggydog" (left) & "Delphine" (right) [Jason Owens is absent in Fig. 2, but is fourth from the left in Fig. 1]. (Figs. 1 & 2 © 2021, by Wil Winter and Ashley Kennedy).

Those attending were serenaded daily from dawn to dusk by periodical cicadas of Brood X at our campsite near Fifteenmile Creek that runs through the campground. The weather was pleasant with bright skies and butterflies. After the sunset on Saturday (5 June), with the aid of a portable generator, we watched "The Love Bugs" projected on a white sheet at our campsite. This charming documentary film features entomologists Lois and Charlie O’Brien, known widely for their work on planthoppers and weevils, respectively. Later, because the moon was in its waning crescent phase, treehoppers were especially abundant at various lights set up for night collecting. It was great to get together in person and catch up on happenings in the world of treehopperdom.

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Figs. 3-8. Sights around the campground. 3, scenic view of Fifteenmile Creek. 4, wild stonecrop, Sedum ternatum, near the creek. 5, Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly visiting a flowering shrub. 6, Mark Rothschild collecting treehoppers at light. 7, Wil Winter collecting with Andrew Short at the creek. 8, baby snapping turtle. (Copyrights: Figs. 3-6, © 2021, by Matt Wallace; Figs. 7-8, © 2021, by Ashley Kennedy).

Join the 29th Annual Treehopper Gathering: a Socially Distanced Aggregation
2021-05-12
The 2021 Treehopper Gathering is arranged for 4-6 June 2021 at the Little Orleans Campground, Little Orleans, Maryland. This event provides a beautiful, casual setting to meet and collect with others passionate about treehoppers and related insects in the 222-acre campground, located in the Upper Potomac River valley of western Maryland. At least 23 treehopper genera (56 species) have been collected in this area.

To reserve a campsite with our group or to obtain further information, contact Charles Bartlett. Advanced registration with Charles is essential to assure that you have a campsite. Because of the pandemic, we strongly recommend that all attendees be fully vaccinated.

Participants are expected to provide their own tents, food, and camping gear, and to share in the cost of the group campground registration. Note that this year a socially distanced aggregation time is planned for Saturday evening, rather than the usual shared group meal. We hope to be able to view the documentary film The Love Bugs.

Bring your collecting vials, insect nets, unidentified specimens, cameras, bathing suits, a folding chair, and your favorite t-shirts. If you fear cicadas, you may also wish to bring a wearable pod to protect you from Brood X of 17-year cicadas. LOL!

New Online Publication: Third Version of "Guide Illustré des Membracides de Guyane" by Jérémie Lapéze
2021-05-11
Lapèze, J. 2021a. Guide Illustré des Membracides de Guyane. Version 3. 142 digital pp. Available online: https://www.insecte.org/fichiers/Membracides_de_Guyane.pdf. [in French]

This beautiful and useful illustrated guide to the treehoppers of French Guiana includes, in the words of Jérémie Lapèze, “more species, more photos, more information.”

David Stephan and His Telamona
2021-04-22
We are saddened to report the recent passing of David Leigh Stephan (1946-2021), for whom the Nearctic treehopper Telamona stephani is named (Wallace 2018a). Dave was an extraordinary naturalist, with an amazing knowledge of the North Carolina flora and fauna. For his entire career at North Carolina State University, he served as the chief insect identification specialist for the NC Plant Disease and Insect Clinic. Much admired as a naturalist and conservationist, Dave will be greatly missed.

It is most fitting that the beautiful treehopper shown below will forever remind us of our dear friend and colleague. David collected both the holotype (Fig. 1) and allotype (Fig. 2) at lights in Bladen County, North Carolina, however, this sexually dimorphic species occurs also in Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (Wallace 2018a). Males differ from other species of Telamona in having a characteristic mottled coloration, a dark brown head and metopidium, and very lowly elevated pronotal projection. Little is known of the biology of this treehopper because most specimens were taken at lights.

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Figs. 1 and 2, Telamona stephani. 1, holotype, male. 2, allotype, female. Both specimens are at the NCSU Insect Collection. Photos © 2021, by Matthew A. Bertone.

Wallace, M. S. 2018a. A new species of Telamonini from the eastern United States and the taxonomic limits of Telamona salvini Distant (Hemiptera: Membracidae: Smiliinae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 120(3):605-615.

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