Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Insects >>> True Bugs, Aphids, Leaf Hoppers, Scales and Cicadas >>> Tree Hopper

Thorny Tree Hopper

Oxyrachis tarandus ?

a tree hopper, family membracidae, from Kitale, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed on stems of Calliandra calothyrsus at Kitale, Kenya, December 2012. On the pronotum there are two lateral spine-like projections and also a long narrow dorsal spine extending to the posterior.

Calliandra calothyrsus has been promoted and widely planted for use as forage crop in Kenya and elsewhere in tropical Africa. It is a large leguminous shrub or small tree originally from tropical America; it fixes nitrogen and is pallatable to livestock. This tree hopper was found feeding on several of the plants in a Kitale demonstration garden. Normally, exotic plants are relatively free of herbivorous insects - this hopper can probably found on related legumes in Kenya's natural habitats. These bugs feed with piercing type mouthparts which penetrate into the stems to withdraw sap.

Membracidae -- Tree Hopper Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 8 February 2013