Observation 49723: Cerogenes auricoma

this is a Lantern Fly that I thought was a fungus-infected cicada, to be clear. There is NO fungus visible in this observation.

Species Lists


Copyright © 2010 Christian F. Schwarz

Proposed Names

-47% (4)
Recognized by sight: Entomopathogenic fungus, seemed to be specific to cicadas
0% (6)
Recognized by sight
-15% (4)
Recognized by sight
96% (5)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: No fungus, wax produced by this insect to get rid of excess sugars and to protect eggs against infections (Fulgoridae, Cerogenes auricoma).
Used references: Goemans, G., 2006. The Fulgoridae (Hemiptera, Fulgoromorpha) of Guatemala. In: Cano, E. (Ed.), Biodiversidad de Guatemala, vol. I. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala, pp. 337–344.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-02-01 13:32:45 CST (-0600)

finally identified, and boy, not even fungal. Nature is weird.

we see what we want to see…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-02-01 13:28:38 CST (-0600)

thanks for that insect insight, Geert.

Alive and kicking, nothing to do with fungi !
By: Geert Goemans (fulgorke)
2011-02-01 13:17:02 CST (-0600)

The white “thingies”, as well as the yellow on the head do NOT have got anything to do with fungi!!
This is wax produced by the insect itself and is believed to be used for covering the eggs and protecting them from infections (bacteria, …). And probably also produced partly to get rid of the excess sugars they get from sucking plant juice. (think of aphids and their honeydew … same suborder)
This is neither a cicada, but rather a member of the family Fulgoridae (lantern flies), this species is Cerogenes auricoma
The picture on flickr where myxomop refers to did originally have the statement he gives here, but I corrected Mario later and he put my comment (translated into Portuguese) under his. If you look at the comments below the picture you can find my comment there.
And if it was still moving, I’m pretty sure it was perfectly alive, maybe even underway to deposit its eggs somewhere close. They are indeed fairly bad in walking on a horizontal surface … due to the vast amount of heavy wax.

If any of you would be interested in a paper about Fulgoridae (global info, biology, myths, … ), send me a message and I’d be glad to e-mail it to you.

moving still, but not for much longer, eh? :(
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-02-01 11:42:24 CST (-0600)
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-02-01 11:37:22 CST (-0600)

Whatever was on that Phenax is the closest match I have seen to the thing parasitizing this cicada.

No organisms under it, Debbie. It was moving its legs, etc. Others were observed doing the same.

well if Christian actually SAW it move around…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-02-01 11:26:05 CST (-0600)

then there are two possibilities: it was still alive (I agree, that’s hard to believe) or there was another creature underneath that was moving it.

Cordyceps and their ilk totally creep me out too, as well they should. Thank heavens we don’t have Hominid specialists…yet.

The gorgeous, freshly dead cicada specimen linked to by Myxomop on flicker was amazing!!! Wow, it’s brutal out there.

check this out
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-02-01 03:35:00 CST (-0600)

guy says his were very dead, just looked alive.


By: Jesse (Amilibertine)
2010-08-29 18:18:37 CDT (-0500)

So cool, must be a tough way to die though. I sort of feel bad for the cicada.

By: Teonanacatl
2010-08-29 09:41:18 CDT (-0500)

wow, extremely interesting

I don’t think
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2010-08-27 00:18:37 CDT (-0500)

It is a Cordyceps. But I am pretty sure it’s fungal – it was shedding all sorts of powdery junk from the streamers. And the ones that weren’t stuck to the trees were stumbling around not looking very healthy.

still alive?
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2010-08-26 22:20:38 CDT (-0500)

and moving? with fungal fruit all about it’s helpless carcass? doesn’t sound like any entomopathogenic variety I know of. I’ve seen bugs I thought were parasitized, but had in fact just been lounging about in some weird exoskeletal casing. find me a known cordyceps that fruits before host death and I will stand corrected. until then, I’m skeptical.

No more photos
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2010-08-26 21:21:33 CDT (-0500)

Sorry. The rain and humidity really did a number on my camera. I wish I had gotten a photo of the graveyards.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-08-26 20:49:45 CDT (-0500)

that is so disgusting and horrible!

Got any more pictures?

Created: 2010-08-05 16:58:30 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-05-12 13:31:14 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 857 times, last viewed: 2018-06-14 12:20:12 CDT (-0500)
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