|Ceresa basalis balefully considering Nature|
|Ceresa basalis in a different colour|
Unfortunately, here in Alberta we don't seem to get any of the really spectacular treehoppers, but if you google you can see lots of striking pictures (great collection here). Instead, we have a rather understated and malevolent-looking Ceresa basalis Walker, 1851. This tree-hopping bug is a minor pest in orchards because it uses its saw-like ovipositor to lay eggs in the twigs of fruit trees killing shoots that might have borne fruit.
The genus Ceresa was coined by Amyot and Serville in 1843, possibly in honour of Ceres the Roman Goddess of Agriculture (and presumably where we get our word 'cereal'). Some taxonomists disagree and use the genus Stictocephala Stål, 1869, which seems to mean 'punctured head'. Perhaps someone will one day coin a new genus Stictohypothesis.
Kazunori, Yoshizawa. 2012. The treehopper's helmet is not homologous with wings (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Systematic Entomology 37(1): 2-6 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2011.00606.x
Miko, Istvan; Friedrich, Frank; Yoder, Matthew J; Hines, Heather M; Deitz, Lewis L; Bertone, Matthew A; Seltmann, Katja C; Wallace, Matthew S; Deans, & Andrew R. 2012. On dorsal prothoracic appendages in treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae) and the nature of morphological evidence. PloS One 7(1): e30137
Prud’homme B, Minervino C, Hocine M, Cande JD, Aouane A, et al. 2011. Body plan innovation in treehoppers through the evolution of an extra wing-likeappendage. Nature 473: 83–86. doi:10.1038/nature09977