T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Hopper (Longheaded Bracken Hopper) Thanatodictya tillyardi

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Infraphylum: Atelocerata
Class: Insecta
Superorder: Auchenorrhyncha
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Infraorder: Fulgoromorpha
Superfamily: Fulgoroidea
Family: Dictyopharidae
Sub Family: Dictyopharinae
Tribe: Dictyopharini
Genus: Thanatodictya
Species: T. tillyardi
Binomial name: Thanatodictya tillyardi
Common name: Longheaded Bracken Hopper

Thanatodictya tillyardi (Longheaded Bracken Hopper) is a New Zealand native planthopper in the infraorder of Fulgoromorpha, which has more than 12,500 described species worldwide. It is found throughout New Zealand. This species was first described by Myers in 1923 from specimens taken on the Dun Mountain, Nelson, at 1,000 mm.

T. tillyardi is an flying insect >12mm long with very long transparent front wings and an unusually long pointed horizontal proboscis. Each outer wing has a dark pterostigma (dark cell) on the outside margin. The purpose of the pterostigma, being a heavier section of the wing in comparison to nearby sections, is to assist in gliding. Without the pterostigma, self-exciting vibrations would set in on the wing after a certain critical speed, making gliding impossible.

T. tillyardi has a close association with the bracken fern (Pteridiurn esculentum) though it also sucks the sap of other plant species.. 

  

Thanatodictya tillyardi in silhouette