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Review of the Neotropical Genus Ennya (Membracidae: Smiliinae: Polyglyptini)
2024-04-29
Montalvo-Salazar, J. L.; López-García, M. M. 2024a. Contributions on the treehopper genus Ennya Stål, 1866 (Hemiptera: Membracidae) with two new species from Ecuador. Zootaxa 5428 (2): 269–289. [https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.5428.2.6 (paywall = access by subscription or item purchase)]

[In addition to various nomenclatural changes and lectotype designations, the authors provide a re-description of the genus Ennya and a key to all 19 species they list in the genus (including 2 new species). They indicate, however, that a few of these species may prove to be synonymous (12 of the 19 species are illustrated). Known from Central and South America, Ennya occurs in 10 countries; new Ecuadorian locality records are given for 3 species. One species formerly placed in Ennya is moved to Creonus, another to Polyglyptini incertae sedis, and one to Centronodus. This publication provides the first description and illustrations of the fifth instar nymph for the genus.]

In Any Language, These Little Devils are Striking!
2024-04-16
Carmon-Ríos, M. G. [2020a.] Insectos Diablitos; Los Membrácidos ¡Pequeños y Llamativos! [Devil Insects: The Membracids are Small and Striking!]. Museo Nacional de Costa Rica [National Museum of Costa Rica]. Online publication.

[This wonderfully illustrated popular article on treehoppers is available in Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Topics treated include: treehopper morphology (the pronotum) and behavior (reproduction, parental care, communication, and symbiotic relationships).]

2024 Treehopper Gathering Scheduled for 31 May to 2 June, Little Orleans Maryland
2024-04-04
Charles Bartlett (the esteemed entomologist, not the character in movie “Charlie Bartlett”) has scheduled the 32nd Gathering of Treehopper Enthusiasts (31 May to 2 June 2024) at the Ridge Rider Campground, Little Orleans, Maryland. Please join our aggregation/celebration at this 222-acre campground, located in the Upper Potomac River valley of Western Maryland. Our informal gathering provides not only an excellent opportunity to collect, study, and photograph treehoppers (and “lesser insects”), but also to meet others passionate about these endlessly fascinating creatures.

Contact Dr. Bartlett to obtain further information, or to reserve a campsite with our group (and to be added to the Gathering’s email list). Participants are expected to provide their own tents, food, and camping gear, and to share in the cost of the group-camping registration and the group meal provided on Saturday evening.

Remember to bring your collecting vials, insect nets, unidentified specimens, cameras, bathing suits, a folding chair, and your favorite t-shirts.

Cow Bugs and Keywords (April Foolery: 1 April 2024)
2024-04-01
‘Must a name mean something?’ Alice asked doubtfully.” (Lewis Carroll, 1871 [dated 1872], Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

So, why are certain treehoppers called “cow bugs”? (Fig. 1, below).

A. These insects don’t answer to “Betsy,” “Angus,” “Sheila,” or any other common or Latin name. They don’t answer to “cow bugs” either, but perhaps it was useful to give them a name.

B. The common name “buffalo treehopper” was already taken.

C. In true “cow bugs” the treehopper’s pronotum has two lateral horns somewhat resembling the horns of a cow.

D. Many treehoppers are attended by ants that feed on the hoppers’ honeydew secretions, and, in doing so, the ants appear to be guarding, herding, and “milking” aggregations of miniature cows with six legs (thus, cow bugs).

E. Both “C” and “D” have been proposed as the real reason for the common name. So, in most publications, “cow bugs” refers to a number of ant-attended, horned species of the genera Anchon, Otinotus, Leptocentrus, and Oxyrhachis that occur in India. Thus “E” is arguably the preferred answer.

Fig. 1. “Cow Bugs,” adults and nymphs with honeydew-feeding ants. [Image of Oxyrhachis pandata © Copyright 2003, by Michel Boulard.]
Ants "milking" mini cows . . .

Top Ten Reasons for Omitting the Name of Your Study Group in the Title of a Publication on Treehoppers: . . . Who knew the name of the treehopper I study would be an essential keyword in searching the literature and retrieving all information on that group? . . . Let the Countdown begin . . .

10. Why trigger entomophobia in my readers from the get-go?

9. I’m not entirely sure if the bug I study is even a treehopper.

8. Does it pay to advertise that I am an entomologist? They get so little respect and my child may want to run for president some day.

7. Why do we have editors and reviewers, if not to catch such omissions?

6. In this day and age, one assumes AI will take care of such trivial details.

5. As a very visual, creative, original, and controversial free spirit, I believe eye-catching photos of treehoppers will grab your attention over some “yada yada yada” title. By the way, do you dig my glittering Bocydium earring?

4. A paper title is more friendly if it lacks words that nobody can pronounce.

3. My hidden agenda: an ambiguous, intoxicating title will trick readers into thinking my ”half-vast” paper has vast importance.

2. I fear being hounded by the news media.

1. If loved ones learn of my extreme infatuation with treehoppers, they will surely stage an intervention.

"Well, I’ve had enough nonsense. I’m going home!" (Alice, in Disney’s 1951 animated film “Alice in Wonderland”)

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