The Beauty of Lantern Bugs

25 Aug 2014 12:47 - 22 Mar 2015 09:23 #2192 by admin
admin created the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Had a nice bug trip to Kaeng Krachan at the weekend and spotted two lantern bugs

Pyrops lantern bug Thailand

If you were to ask two common groups of forest visitors, say a group of tourists and a group of insect enthusiasts, what was the most beautiful insect they had seen in Thailand? We are willing to bet that the majority would say a lantern bug.

Whether you have seen a lantern bug in the wild of the forests, in an orchard or whether you have only seen one in a photograph, there is no denying that lantern bugs are one of Thailand's most beautiful and exotic looking insects.

 

The lantern bugs are so named, incorrectly, because of a head prominence of some species (i.e. Pyrops) resembling a Pinocchio like "nose" that was thought to emit light in the past. Of course this is not true, it does not emit light, but it is the story of how they gained their common name.

So what exactly is a lantern bug? Lantern bugs are known by a number of common names: lanternflies, lantern bugs, and lanthorn flies, and are planthoppers. A planthopper is any insect in the infraorder Fulgoromorpha. The Fulgoromorpha infraorder consists of 20 families at present, and one of these families is Fulgoridae. Lantern bugs belong to this family, the family Fulgoridae.

The family Fulgoridae is quite a large group of insects, mainly found in tropical countries, and currently believed to contain over 140 genera worldwide. The family has undergone little indepth study in the past and there is serious academic uncertainty over the complete taxa due to the past taxa being based largely upon physical characteristics, namely head morphology, and further study is currently ongoing to restructure the taxa based on DNA analysis.

Lantern bugs are typically arboreal, most often associated with a specific host tropical tree and/or vine and this is where you will find them when in the forest. They are generally quite large compared to many other insects and some species can be as long as 75 mm in length. Look on the trunks of larger trees and you increase your chances of sighting one. Certain species use particular fruiting trees as their host, such as Pyrops candelaria and the Dimocarpus longantree, and can often be sighted in longan orchards in the north of Thailand. You will have to look closely though, because even though they are relatively large they tend not to move unless disturbed and despite their bright colours they can be quite difficult to spot when still.

When you do spot one your heart will lift, whether a species with a head extension or not, they are all fascinating to view up close and have an inherent beauty in colour and form.


Thailand's official species list currently notes 20 species of lantern bugs recorded in Thailand but, as with all arthropods, its more likely that there are many more waiting to be sighted and added to the list of Thailand's known species. So get out there and get looking, it may just be you who finds an unrecorded species.

The photographs in this article have been kindly provided by Les Day at Samui Butterflies and Paul Thompson.

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29 Oct 2014 17:33 #2438 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Finally got a picture of Kalidasa nigromaculata, in Pang Sida National Park.

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29 Oct 2014 19:47 #2443 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
As always a great shot of a beautiful bug!

I agree that you do not have to be a 'bugger' to like the Lantern Bugs.
There is a pretty one in Khao Yai that is always present in the first months of the wet season along the 'crocodile'-trail.
If my online search is right this is the Pyrops ducalis. A beautiful species.
And sometimes there is a species at the start of the trail to Haew Narok waterfall, I haven't found an ID, but I am sure you will tell me what it is ;)

Pyrops ducalis


A bunch of Pyrops ducalis, sometimes there are 20 of these on this tree. And in previous years we did see another species on another tree but can not find an image... mostly green with tiny orange dots. But this year I either did not pay attention or they were just not there.


And this is the species I hope you can ID for me.
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30 Oct 2014 06:14 - 13 Nov 2017 06:23 #2453 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
What a fantastic start to my morning - I have photos of neither of them - having "serious jealousy" cereal for breakfast!. I am enthused to go searching!! What great finds Flipflops. Are you moving to the "dark side"? I think you could do wonders with a macro lens with your photographers eye.

The last one is interesting - I think its Pyrops cf. oculata. I added the "cf." because when looking it up this morning I noticed that there were variations. Am not sure if this species is known as being highly variable such as some of the other lantern bugs but the pattern on your's seems irregular which is interesting. Maybe the camera angle but maybe not.

_________________________________________

I have also put a link to the "official" list of recognized species for Thailand in the"Library" section of the forum for regulars, but here is the list for everyone else as well .........

Subfamily Aphaeninae Tribe: Aphaenini
Aphaena aurantia var. apicata
Aphaena submaculata burmanica
Aphaena najas
Kalidasa nigromaculata
Polydictya uniformis
Polydictya tricolor
Penthicodes bimaculata
Penthicodes variegate
Penthicodes atomaria
Penthicodes pulchella
Penthicodes caja

Subfamily Fulgorinae Tribe: Laternarini
Pyrops spinolae
Fulgora nigrirostris
Pyrops viridirostris
Pyrops candelaria
Pyrops ducalis
Pyrops astarte
Pyrops clavata mizunumai
Pyrops peguensis
Pyrops lathburii
Pyrops oculata
Pyrops shiinaorum
Saiva gemmata
Saiva cardinalis
Saiva bullata

Subfamily Fulgorinae Tribe: Zannini
Zanna terminalis
Zanna dohrni
Zanna nobilis
Zanna chinensis

Additional Species photographed by Forum members in Thailand

Scamandra rosea varicolor
Pyrops karenia
Pyrops connectens
Aphaena dissimilis


___________________________________

Added Nov 2017

Polydictya sp

see www.hemiptera-databases.org/flowpdf/3320.pdf
and www.researchgate.net/publication/3173133...oromorpha_Fulgoridae

________________________________________________

After studying Les' "red/brown" lantern bug in the gallery (see first post) some more, I originally thought it was a variation on Aphaena cf. submaculata burmanica and I labelled it as such ( it is known to be be highly variable). But I have decided to mark it as "unknown" as it is very different from all the other pictures I can find. Interesting as well.
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30 Oct 2014 08:41 #2454 by Painted Jezebel
Painted Jezebel replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
There appears to be a couple of species missing from the list, both shown in the main article.

Scamandra rosea varicolor - photographed in Krung Ching, Nakhon Si Thammarat (seen only once)
Pyrops karenia - photographed in Khao Phanom Bencha, Krabi Province. (Common there)

Beautiful photo of Kalidasa nigromaculata!
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30 Oct 2014 12:42 #2458 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Good spot Les! I have adjusted the list to incorporate the finds at the bottom.

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30 Oct 2014 15:19 #2460 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Thanks Trekker!
I think I'm still stuck on 'the other dark side', haha. But I like anything colourful or anything perfectly camouflaged, or anything that has an interesting story about behaviour, characteristics etc. So that includes certain (many?) bugs ;). But still I get a bit more excited to see certain mammals or snakes.

My macro lens, the fixed nikkor micro 200mm f4 did not survive the humid conditions here. Got a whole ecosystem of fungi inside the lens :(
I'm a slow hiker, but if I would carry a macro lens which could change every inch in the forest into beautiful images I would probably never reach the end of the trails...
These shots are just with my 300mm f4. I'm sorry that I did not do better on the Pyrops cf. oculata. Perhaps I was with people that were less excited to see anything non-furry... I don't remember. I should have more images, but my collection is still a mess. No time to sort everything out.

I can give you descriptions of the exact location of these bugs, however, I'm afraid you will have to wait till next year for them to return.
Not sure if I should share the exact location on the forum, I don't know if there is a risk of bug collectors to go after them, haha. I can email those who would like to know.
The P. ducalis is there every year, don't know exactly which month they come have to look back into the exifs of my images, but the last few times I walked by this month they were gone. So I guess the season is over. I think it is mostly just after the hot dry season till about September.
For sure they will be back next year.
The other species, Pyrops cf. oculata, is a little bit more hit and miss, but anyway seem to return every year.

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30 Oct 2014 18:15 - 30 Oct 2014 18:23 #2461 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Just realized I have another couple in my files waiting to be sorted, firstly Penthicodes pulchella: first pic is in Nam Nao, second in Huai Kha Khaeng




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31 Oct 2014 09:47 - 31 Oct 2014 09:53 #2462 by rushenb
rushenb replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Curious now. I saw in Trekkers official list, where Pyrops karenius is not listed. I took a photo of one nearly 2 years ago at KK, looks pretty much same as the 4th photo at the top. A Flickr user identified it as Pyrops karenius back than.

Published originally at; www.flickr.com/photos/rushen/8529463451/

I am very tempted to add bugs to my website too, but it is a huuuuuge work. Also, there are not many wiki pages for species when it comes down to bugs, mostly genus level, which doesn't help.

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31 Oct 2014 10:08 - 02 Nov 2014 13:44 #2463 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
I should explain - its the "official Thai list" not mine.

These lists need researchers to maintain them and there's not a whole lot of people working in entomological research in Thailand never mind the specific area that a list may be an indicator of. Even though a particular species may not be on a particular list that is not an indicator that the species does not exist in the location, indeed a non-listed species could be very common, just not on the list yet.

Additionally, esp. with arthropods, foreign academics and Universities may have much more accurate lists based on region rather than on countries. Indeed some individuals may have more accurate lists.

Add to this that some estimates of arthropod "named species" (named by science) indicate that there may be as many as 9 or 10 "un-named" species for every "named" species and you start to see just how much work is potentially needed before academics/specialists start to get a truer more transparent understanding of bio-diversity.

Also it should be borne in mind that a lot of academics will pursue a specialist interest in their own time - whilst tenure and teaching pays the bills.

But all of this is just what makes the "insect world" even more fascinating ;+) And its a great way for our amateur sightings to assist academia in better understanding bio-diversity. Our photo collections become a "virtual bio-sphere" for them to roam in without the sole reliance on expensive and time consuming field trips.

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31 Oct 2014 11:51 - 02 Nov 2014 12:10 #2465 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Another one ;=)

Penthicodes atomaria..................... Nam Nao National Park




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02 Nov 2014 12:10 - 02 Nov 2014 13:44 #2468 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
and I found a Penthicodes variegate skulking on my hard drive, from Kaeng Krachan, ......

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11 Nov 2014 17:56 #2497 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Had a nice bug trip to Kaeng Krachan at the weekend and spotted two lantern bugs: a Pyrops spinolae and a Saiva gemmata.



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09 May 2015 21:41 - 09 May 2015 21:48 #2839 by thaiger
thaiger replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
I found this lantern bug last month in Khao Sok. First i thougt it is Pyrops viridirostris but the nose is not blue.
Someone told me that could be Pyrops condorinus.

[url=
Lanternfly Fulgoridae - Pyrops by tajong , auf Flickr][/url]

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10 May 2015 09:54 - 21 May 2015 07:27 #2840 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Am not sure. if it is Pyrops spinolae condorina, theres very little info on it, other than its as a sub-species of Pyrops spinolae and has only been mentioned as being recorded in Vietnam according to literature. Of course that does not mean it is not but I think you would need someone who knows the taxonomy very well to make the call. Could be a morph or variant. could be WB issue. Great find if it is though!!

There's a new group on Facebook set up by Pee Pisuth called Cicadidae and Fulgoridae of Thailand, You could try for an ID there

www.facebook.com/groups/1643589665872603/

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03 Jun 2015 20:32 #2853 by thaiger
thaiger replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
I just received the ID of the lantern bug above from Jerome Constant
It is Pyrops connectens

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04 Jun 2015 05:38 - 04 Jun 2015 05:42 #2855 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Fantastic! Here is the original description:

www.hemiptera-databases.org/flowpdf/644.pdf

I suspect this will be a surprise to many and that its not been recorded for quite a while because its missing on many lists. Another one for Thailand - fantastic!

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16 Jun 2015 20:10 #2882 by rushenb
rushenb replied the topic: Picture of the Month
A lantorn fly, Kaeng Krachan National Park, photo taken few days ago.

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06 Jul 2015 20:27 - 06 Jul 2015 20:28 #2967 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Picture of the Month
Aphaena submaculata and Aphaena dissimilis photos have been popping up from Khao Yai so I had a quick visit to grab some shots........ I had seen disimillis before so I headed for the same area and found both species straight way:

Aphaena dissimilis:

Aphaena submaculata:
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14 Aug 2015 12:55 #3036 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Picture of the Month
Pyrops viridirostris from Huai Kha Khaeng.
First time for me, found them at two locations.




And there were a lot of Pyrops spinolae around.

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21 Aug 2015 07:40 #3054 by Painted Jezebel
Painted Jezebel replied the topic: Picture of the Month
I can not see this species on this thread.

Pyrops pyrorhynchus, from Than To, Yala Province.



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21 Aug 2015 08:12 #3057 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Picture of the Month
That's beautiful, photograph as well as insect

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21 Aug 2015 12:35 #3059 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Picture of the Month
Nice one, Les!

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18 Apr 2016 07:12 #3693 by angiud
angiud replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs


Zanna nobilis
- at Kaeng Krachan National Park, 2015



Pyrops oculata mating
at Krung Ching, Khao Luang National Park, NST



Flying Pyrops oculata
at Krung Ching, Khao Luang National Park, NST

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18 Apr 2016 07:51 #3694 by admin
admin replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
Fantastic shots (as always) Anguid. I have always wanted to see the Zanna but never found it.

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18 Apr 2016 07:59 #3695 by angiud
angiud replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
On more, very frresh shot from Doi Pha Hom Pok, 1800 mt, April 2016



Zanna cf. chinensis

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18 Apr 2016 08:01 #3696 by angiud
angiud replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
And from my island, Koh Phangan:



Aphaena discolor




Taking off

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13 Nov 2017 05:58 - 13 Nov 2017 06:02 #4690 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
I have not taken any arthropod pictures for quite a a while but now I am retired I have a enough time to do so many things I have wanted to do - including having time available for arthropod searching again - so to start a new, one found last week .................

Kaeng Krachan National Park, Polydictya sp. (kindly ID'ed by Jerome C)

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13 Nov 2017 06:18 #4691 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
And after so many years of never seeing probably the most "famous" of Thai insects from tourist's photos - I finally saw a Pyrops candelaria. Pity I had the "wrong" lens on.

Again in Kaeng Krachan National Park.

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13 Nov 2017 16:04 #4693 by angiud
angiud replied the topic: The Beauty of Lantern Bugs
I have neglected this thread for a while...

This uncommon species from Doi Phu Kha (Nan), 1700 mt, October 2017


Loxocephala unipunctata

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