The Bug That Looks Like Popcorn On Legs

When you think about it, the real world is almost as magical as it’s portrayed in cartoons and fantasy movies. Nature photographer Andreas Kay has discovered an insect that could easily be something a fantasy is made of. The flatid planthopper nymph from the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador is covered with waxy filaments for protection, making it look like a cross between a walking cloud and a kernel of popcorn with tiny legs. The miniature bug’s name comes from their ability to “hop” from one plant to another when moving around. They are light green with faint longitudinal orange stripes, though their colors are often masked by a woolly wax coating they secrete when they’re on the move. Their eyes can be red, green, white or yellow. The insects drink plant juice from stems, without causing significant harm to the plant. However, they often leave a white, waxy residue on branches and leaves, making them appear a bit unattractive.