Dr. Sheryl A. Yap, a curator of the UPLB Museum of Natural History Entomologigcal Collection recently co- described a new species of a minute derbid planthopper collected from Mt. Pao, Adams, Ilocos Norte. Derbids are insects in the order Hemiptera, the true bugs. It is one of the largest and most diverse families of planthoppers (Fulgoroidea).
In an article appearing in 7th volume of India-based journal Halteres, Yap and her co-author Thierry Bourgoin of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Institut de Systematique, Evolution, Biodiversite in Paris reported that they have named the discovery, the second species of the genus Ceropupa as Ceropupa adams n. sp. in honor of the type locality.
Ceropupa, according to the authors, is only reported for the first time from the Philippines and represents also a new country record.
"Ceropupa, specifically C. trismegista, has only been described from Vietnam," says Dr. Yap in an interview. Ceropupa was erected as a genus by Dr. Alexander F. Emeljanov of the Zoological Institute in Russia in 1994.
According to Yap, Ceropupa adams was found thriving under the leaves of Pinanga urosperma Becc palms. Because the planthoppers were so small (around 2 mm), they were also collected using an aspirator.
"At first, we thought that the collected specimens may represent a new genus, but after further morphological study, we concluded that would fall as a new species of Ceropupa," Yap said.
The discovery, according to Yap, is a contribution to the understanding and knowledge of derbids in the Philippines.
"The small and delicate insects are very diverse and have interesting relationships with their host plants, the palms, and there are much more to learn about them," Yap said.
Image above courtesy of Halteres.