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Tree hoppers are usually found in groups.Female tree hoppers lay approximately 10-25 eggs.which are usually found stuck to the trunk of trees like Babul and Berries and are protected by carpenter ants.hoppers and ants share a symbiotic relationship and benefit by living in proximity to each other.
These eggs later hatch into baby tree hoppers called Nymph.These nymph colonies are kept clean and protected by the colony of ants living in the vicinity.
Nymph repay this service by producing nectar through various part of their bodies for the ants.This nectar is seen secreted through the neck and the anus of nymphs.Ants continuously stimulate nymph to secrete nectar by stimulating their anus and feed upon it as soon as it secreted.
nymph produce nectar
I have also observed some ants sharing nectar with fellow ants.
after a period of 23 days the nymph open up their skin and transform into feathered tree hopper.Ants help nymphs at this stage.
They are still transparent at this stage of development and the process of transformation continues.
A jumping spider was also observed preying on a nymph.it pounced on it and got hold of the nymph.However a very interesting feature was observed when an ant attacked the spider and saved the nymph.Unfortunately i could not capture this phenomenon.
Great. This is a nice and educative series and the images are very interesting. i have read about this and did see something on TV.The insect world is full of such surprises and we know only so little of this...Pls continue to post such intresting and educative natural history accounts.
Interesting observations. The series of photographs help to see and understand the behaviour. Nicely captured. Thanks for sharing the information.
Thanks mrudul mam.
Very interesting observations and equally beautiful photographs. We know very little about insect world. Keep posting such informative photographs...
Thanks a lot samrat bhai...!
Good work Dheeru
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