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Peanut-head Bug - Fulgora laternaria
Fulgorids stand out among the Hemipterans for its unique head shape. Among the neotropical species Fulgora laternaria is perhaps the most striking, with its head resembling a big unshelled peanut.
Fulgora laternaria grows to about 8 cm long and its mouth is like a straw; it can not bite, so all it can do is suck juices from plants. In the rainforest from Mexico to Argentina where this bug is found, there are so many things that want to eat the Peanut-head Bug that it needs a lot of defenses. Scientists think that the head is supposed to imitate a lizard’s head, a complex anti-predator scheme the bug uses. The Peanut-head Bug has large spots on its underwings that look like large eyes when the bug spreads its wings. If these don’t scare away predators, the bug releases a skunk-like spray.
Other common names: Lantern fly, Peanut bug, Peanut-headed lanternfly, Alligator bug, Jequitiranaboia, Machaca, Chicharra-machacuy, Víbora voladora, Mariposa caimán, Cocoposa.