The Way I See Things



I do like a bit of art deco. And as you've probably spotted by now, I also like a nice hopper. So here are two of my favourite things combined, in the form of a small but stylish leafhopper called Agallia consobrina. It's common on low plants across the UK, allegedly, but there must be a good deal of extrapolation behind that statement because hoppers generally seem to be poorly reported, and as this one is only about 4mm long, it would be easy to overlook it. On the plus side though, it is pretty distinctive, unlike many other members of the Cicadellidae.

I beat some inverts out of a large conifer in the wild garden this afternoon, and peering into my net I thought that this one looked quite jazzy, and worthy of further examination. When you hit a tree or a shrub with a stick and cause some of the creatures sitting in it to fall out, they tend to land in a temporary state of shock. This may last for a few minutes, or just a few seconds: I'd put a common froghopper on this old hazel log straight from my net earlier in the afternoon, and got three or four minutes to photograph it before it recovered its bounce and pinged away, but small leafhoppers are generally springing around again within a second or two, and if you want a photo you need to work fast. I managed to pot this as it was gearing up to leave the net, and chilled it for an hour before setting it on my log and picking up the camera. About fifteen frames later it was starting to move, so I carried the log back across the wild garden towards the conifer, but half way there the hopper sprang and flew. I've chosen a profile for my main image, but there's a dorsal view in the extras which is even more art deco.

Other than the couple of hours I spent hunting bugs, I spent most of the day at my desk, working on photo files. I finally completed the processing of a set I took at Trench Wood a month ago, and I've posted some of them to my Facebook page, if you'd care to take a look.

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