Planthopper Nymphs Have ‘Fireworks’ Shooting Out Of Their Butts!

Planthopper Nymphs Have 'Fireworks' Shooting Out Of Their Butts!

planthopper nymph fireworks (3)

planthopper nymph fireworks (4)

photo: Hock Guek

planthopper nymph fireworks (1)

photo: C-O

planthopper nymph fireworks (2)
photo: pbertner

Habitat: worldwide distribution
Status: No Conservation Concerns

When looking at these incredible images of various species of Planthopper Nymphs (Fulgoroidea) the song Firework by Katy Perry comes to mind. That’s probably due to the fact that these tiny little creatures look like their butts are shooting iridescent sparks out of their tushies.

These tails are actually extruded wax, which the planthopper nymphss produce for a variety of reasons. In some species, the wax forms into a fan shape that allows the insect to descend more slowly when falling through the air. Other times it is used as a simple distraction to predators. The wax is hydrophobic, too, so these ‘fireworks’ stand no chance of a rain delay.