Hippopotamus Froghopper find

Ledera aurita photo by Tristan Bantock
Ledera aurita. Photo by Tristan Bantock

Today's TVERC biological data records highlight is: Ledra aurita – Hippopotamus froghopper

Recorded near Shinfield.

What a super looking creature. This species is pretty large as 'hoppers' go. Rarely seen due to its excellent camouflage, it is found locally across southern Britain on lichen-covered trees, particularly oaks.

The Auchenorrhyncha are part of the Hemiptera ('true bugs') and include insects commonly referred to as leafhoppers, planthoppers, froghoppers, treehoppers and cicadas. Almost 400 species have been recorded in Britain and Ireland. 

Ledra: 

There has been a recent upsurge of interest in this group of insects, prompted largely by new identification resources. In particular, the English edition of The Plant- and Leafhoppers of Germany was published in 2009 and covers most of the British fauna. The Ledra website provides a focus for this increased interest and is intended to stimulate wider recording of Auchenorrhyncha in Britain and Ireland. It contains much information that should help you find out more about this fascinating group of insects. http://www.ledra.co.uk/

The Auchenorrhyncha Recording Scheme for Britain and Ireland is organised by Alan Stewart. All electronic records of Auchenorrhyncha or photographic identification queries should be sent to him via: enquiries@ledra.co.ukAll records are welcomed; even casual sightings of common species can contribute to filling major gaps in geographic coverage and thereby help to improve our knowledge of Auchenorrhyncha distribution, ecology and conservation significance.

Although Auchenorrhyncha are frequently difficult to identify, a number of distinctive species are more easily recognised in the field. A selection of these are illustrated onliner at the Ledra photogallery here, with links to further information. All images ©Tristan Bantock.

British Bugs:

See also the wonderful British Bug website (an online guide to identification of UK Hemiptera) for more information, identification advice and excellent images for all Hemiptera groups.