This spectacular planthopper belongs to the family Dictyopharidae. I photographed it using my new LumiQuest SoftBox III fitted on Godox V860C Ving ETTL Flash wirelessly (flash held in my left hand). This allowed me to change the direction of light as I wanted independent of the camera. But it created very awkward position I had to adapt to get both focus as well as light just right. Since I was capturing using the Canon EOS 5DS R camera mounted with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM with only one hand. Most of my capture during a windy day involve stabilizing the leaf where the insect is sitting so as to prevent blurry shots. This was difficult, as I realized that I have only two hands ;). This planthopper was sitting on a leaf and fortunately that evening was not very windy. So I managed to capture it from various angles. The diffusion quality of the softbox is excellent. Now I need to create a stable support for the offline flash so I can free my left hand 😉
The planthopper family Dictyopharidae is a moderately large family of Fulgoromorpha, containing more than 730 described species in 167 genera. Like all other fulgoroids, they have the antennae arising on the side of the head below the compound eye (not between the eyes as in the Cicadoidea). Many species have an elongated frons. Those that do not have this elongation may have 2 or 3 carinae (keels). The median ocellus is absent
Both adults and nymphs of these Dictyopharidae planthoppers feed above the ground, just like its sister group Fulgoridae. Dictyopharidae and Fulgoridae are sister groups, with problematic family-level delineation, and are enigmatic taxa. The families are similar in several respects, including the tendency to have an elongated head, and both having a row of teeth on the apex of the second hind tarsomere (a plesiomorphic feature for the superfamily). Dictyopharidae is characteristically long-legged and have a long beak, and stand in a curious upright position to feed.
The most distinctive feature in many Dictyopharidae is the bizarre shape of their head, which can be long and toothed, slender, or bulbous. Most dictyopharids are green or brown and have a long head projection referred to as a cephalic horn. This cephalic horn and their body posture mimic lizards, positioning themselves vertically with the head uppermost, just as lizards do. A few species have modified front legs that are broad and flat. Most species are monophagous and feed above ground on their hosts. Members of this group are predominantly monocot feeders, and a few are major agricultural pests on Poaceae (grasses), such as rice, maize, and sugarcane.
Dictyopharidae is widely distributed in most parts of the world, especially in tropical and subtropical regions such as South America, the Oriental region and the South east Asia.