Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bug Australia

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Question
Mystery bug
Mystery bug  

Mystery bug 2
Mystery bug 2  
Good Afternoon Mr Saugstad,

I'm not quite sure if Australian insects would be of your expertise, however this insect has got me quite perplexed.

Just today my flatmate and I were sitting in our backyard when we noticed a strange insect emerge from our table.

We could not identify what it was as it walked backwards and forwards for a bit. The insect has 2 large Antennae in the MIDDLE of it's body, which can bend backwards (or forwards) not quite sure.

We are hoping you could help us attached is a picture of what we saw. We also have some film footage as well if you need to see more.

Hope you can help us.

Kind regards,

Bruce

Answer
Dear Bruce - This is a nymph of a plant hopper (superfamily Fulgoroidea in the order Hemiptera); likely in the family Eurybrachyidae - see http://tinyurl.com/a4jydbd for an example and http://tinyurl.com/bx2lypb for images of some adults. The function of the 'tails' on the nymph appears unknown as far as I can determine at this time. Additionally, some Australian species are known as 'wattle hoppers'; you might try doing a search on that term.
Hope this helps,
Saugy

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad

Expertise

Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.

Experience

21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Organizations
Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

Publications
American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

Education/Credentials
B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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