Meet the Neighbors: Buffalo Treehopper

For the introduction to this series, see here.

“Hi! I am a thorn. Don’t look at me closely.” This neighbor does his best to look like a thorn attached to the stem of a plant. That way, hungry birds will be less likely to find them. In profile, they have a humped back rather like a buffalo. The treehopper has a sharp sucking mouth that it uses to pierce plants and suck out the sap. Buffalo treehoppers are related to crickets and to cicadas. Like these other insects, buffalo treehoppers sing to attract a mate, but we can not hear their song since it is very quiet and our ears are not tuned to the right frequencies. Scientists think that the females hear the song as vibrations through the stem of the plant.

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