Insect bearing alien radar domes

By Grant Jacobs 19/07/2013


I’m kidding.

But the ‘head piece’* of the treehopper (Bocydium globulare) does look like some alien insect from a sci-fi movie, here in this fantastic model by Alfred Keller from the Natural History Museum in Berlin,

By ‘Anagoria’ from wikimedia; CC 3.0
By ‘Anagoria’ from wikimedia; CC 3.0

and in a photograph by Stephen Cresswell,

treehopper-cresswell-r-600px

There’s more on this insect at Why Evolution is True and i09. My reading suggests there is no confirmed function attributed to the structure. I’m also curious as to how well they fly.

Although there’s not that much to see in this video, those that would like to see these insects in their natural environment might like this –

[vimeo width=”640″ height=”390″]http://vimeo.com/20486013[/vimeo]

Footnotes

This post is a response to Alison’s image challenge: mmm, ravioli?

Another angle on Keller’s model can be seen in this photograph by Nick Currie.

* It’s not actually on the head, but grows from the thorax (between the head and the abdomen).


Other articles on Code for life:

Friday night game: how many genes do we share with other species?

Logos for great scientists

Wringing a wet cloth in zero-G

Thieves in gold-mining era campsites

Investigate magazine struck dumb by numerology of genetic code