The Thorn bug

Week 1st – 7th April 2013

Did you guess this weeks CAN YOU NAME THIS CREATURE?

I got some correct responses…. it was a thorn bug ( a treehopper).  These bugs can be found on all continents except Antartica.  As you can see from the photo, they are excellent mimics of thorns on the plants and trees on which they feed.

photo credit: mmmavocado via photopin cc
photo credit: mmmavocado via photopin cc

These thorn-like protrusions on their backs act as a wonderful camouflage to prevent detection by predators.  They also act as protective armour if attacked.  These insects cut into the stem of the plant and feed on its sap.  The females of most species cut into the bark to lay their eggs and often sit on their eggs to protect them.  In some species there is even collaborative egg minding between females!

Another of nature’s wonderful creations!


Science blogger and writer; Owner of Dr. How's Science Wows; Mother of three junior scientists who have taught me that to be a great scientist you need to look at life through the eyes of a child!