A few weeks ago, while chasing butterflies at Low Barns, I chanced upon this striking beastie. I was struck by the colours and thought it wouldn’t be difficult to identify what it is, but I had butterflies to chase and other things to do. I added the photo to my library, and tagged it as unidentified. Adding it to many other similarly tagged photos that I have queued up to sort out.
I can’t recall the host tree but the leaf looks cherry-like, although looking at it again that looks like it could be goat willow / pussy willow (Salix caprea).
Here’s a closer view of the creatures.
I didn’t think any more about it and consigned the image to the back-burner of idents-to-investigate, until I read a blog that showed the same creature in the same county around the same time. This is the froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata).
It’s one of the reasons I try to follow local natural history blogs and the news on local natural history sites. Chances are, what is being seen and written about across the country might very well be on my own doorstep.