Fun Treehopper Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 20, 2022 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Shray Sharma
Treehopper facts about the tiny insects that are distantly related to beetles.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

Treehoppers are also known as thorn bugs owing to their typical appearance and practice of camouflage to resemble a thorn. These insects are abundantly found all over the world and have over 3200 types and species of it.

By nature and because of evolution, the Treehopper (family membracidae) shares a mutually beneficial relationship with ants. To date, there seems to be debate surrounding its scientific classification and arrangement. As it stands today, the Treehopper can be classified into three types of its lineage.

The first one is a close relative of the cicada, known as the endoiastinae. The second one is called centrotinae, and then come the apomorphic types, which are much more recent than the first two.

Here we have some interesting Brazilian Treehopper facts and Buffalo Treehopper facts for you to enjoy. After reading these facts about the Brazilian Treehopper, do check our other articles on praying mantis and stink bug.

Treehopper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Treehopper?

The Treehopper (family membracidae) is an insect that belongs to the biological class insecta and the order hemiptera. Treehoppers are distantly related to beetles.

What class of animal does a Treehopper belong to?

Treehoppers are classified as Arthropods since this species has no vertebrate column and have an exoskeleton with paired limbs and a clearly demarcated body. They belong to family membracidae.

How many Treehoppers are there in the world?

With over 3200 species of Treehoppers all over the world, it is difficult to provide for an accurate number for the global population of these insects.

Where does a Treehopper live?

The Treehopper bug normally can be found in forests and farms. Basically, any area with trees, plants, and shrubbery makes for the ideal habitat for a Treehopper. In general, the Treehopper can be found all over the world except in Antarctica.

What is a Treehopper's habitat?

Treehoppers live in places where there are many trees, especially species that belong to the hardwood classification. This species also needs an abundance of shrubbery and grasses which are used by young Treehoppers to feed on. Their habitats usually also inhabit areas that have other insects such as wasps, ants, geckos and so on.

Who do Treehoppers live with?

Tree hoppers normally live in groups with other Treehoppers that are male, female as well as the nymphs or young Treehoppers. These insects can barely ever survive if these species live by themselves since there are ample predators that feast on Treehoppers.

How long does a Treehopper live?

A Tree hopper insect generally has an average life expectancy of around three months

How do they reproduce?

In order to reproduce, the female grasshopper using her ovipositor lays her eggs in the live tissue in stems which is known as the cambium. Being a sociable species, these eggs are guarded by either the mother or, at times, the eggs will also be guarded by other females.

In order to protect these eggs from harm and predatorial creatures, female Treehoppers usually buzz their wings. When young, Treehoppers usually consume a diet of sap from leaves and plants.

What is their conservation status?

Treehoppers are abundantly found all over the world, except in Antarctica. Moreover, these species have existed for millennia. As it stands today, the Treehoppers species are classified as not extinct.

Treehopper Fun Facts

What do Treehoppers look like?

Treehoppers essentially have elaborated pronotums which are extremely large and grow into beautiful shapes and patterns to help them with survival by way of camouflage. These little insects are also called thorn bugs because of their resemblance to thorns.

Treehoppers come in countless different shapes and sizes, which often change based on their geographic locations. Some can be bright leafy green in color, whereas others can be blue and black.

Owing to the fact that there are over 3200 species of Treehoppers, they have a variety of appearances, shapes and sizes, all of which have not been thoroughly studied.

However, the common characteristic across all these species is an elaborated pronotum which seems to be extremely oversized coupled with appendage limbs characteristic to the Arthropoda phylum. Male Treehoppers and female ones are differentiated by observing their genitals.

Treehopper

How cute are they?

Treehoppers can in fact be cute to observe owing to their elaborately designed appearances and the fact that these little insects often find other insects and team up with them for mutual benefits. These insects aren’t particularly a threat to human beings either and keep to themselves unless exposed to any form of a threat to its life.

How do they communicate?

Treehoppers have been known to use a method of communication called jiggling. Jiggling essentially refers to creating vibrations using their abdomens which they then transfer through their legs to the leaves and ultimately to the stem or tree they are on. These vibrations are often varied in terms of amplitude and frequency, depending on what is being communicated.

How big is a Treehopper?

A Treehopper can be anywhere between 0.11-1.11 in. Usually, this means they are as large as our big toe.

How fast can Treehoppers move?

Treehoppers are so-called because their primary movement style involves jumping from parts of a tree to other parts or altogether different trees. These jumps and movements are quite rapid in nature; however, no speed has been recorded in order to quantify this.

How much does a Treehopper weigh?

There are no details available about the weight of Treehoppers.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male members of the species are referred to as male Treehoppers while the females are referred to as female Treehoppers.

What would you call a baby Treehopper?

A baby Treehopper is usually referred to as a nymph.

What do they eat?

Treehoppers are known for feeding on sap from leaves and plants as nymphs and sometimes even as adults. As they get older, however, these insects start feeding on sap from hardwoods and proper trees, unlike nymphs, which are usually found to consume sap from smaller and softer plants and shrubs.

Having consumed the sap, it concentrates in the body and is excreted as a liquid known as honeydew. This honeydew is one of the barters in their mutually beneficial relationships with ants and wasps.

Are they harmful?

Treehoppers are not particularly harmful to humans. They don’t sting or bite, plus they aren't venomous or poisonous. Some Treehoppers are, however, considered pests since they consume plants at a very high speed and can create issues in farms. These Treehoppers are usually the three-cornered alfalfa hopper, thorn bugs, and buffalo Treehoppers.

Would they make a good pet?

No, Treehoppers would not make a good pet. The Treehopper is an insect that requires a lot of vegetation and space to hop around. Usually, it is nearly impossible to provide for that kind of atmosphere and environment and these insects don’t survive for long by themselves either. Therefore, it is inadvisable to have a Treehopper as a pet.

Did you know...

As per Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Treehoppers often live in symbiosis with ants by providing them with honeydew secretions. In return for this, ants grant the Treehoppers protection from other predators. This relationship is the result of long-term evolution.

Honeydew is something that needs to be expelled from the bodies of Treehoppers. Else it could lead to rotting or infection.

Treehoppers have a vertical face and an enlarged thorax. The thorax can extend over the head to create one or more spines that extends over the body to form a hood-shaped covering.

Different types of Treehopper

There are over 3200 types or species of Treehoppers which are further classified together in over 400 different genera. All of these types and genera are present in almost all continents except Antarctica.

They usually differ in color based on their environment and geographic location. For example, a Treehopper living in bright green surroundings will most likely be of that color so that it can camouflage. However, other Treehoppers can be black or blue in color with elaborate designs on them.

Treehoppers and humans

Treehoppers are not usually harmful to humans. Only some types of Treehoppers are considered pests since they consume plants at high speeds and often injure the plant while laying eggs.

The easiest way to get rid of Treehoppers is to squash their eggs. However, this is a tedious task and can be avoided by using either natural pesticides such as neem oils or chemical pesticides.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including wasp, or paper wasp.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our treehopper coloring pages.

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Sources

https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/treehoppers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treehopper

https://uwm.edu/field-station/two-marked-treehopper/#:~:text=They%27ve%20have%20been%20aroundand%20can%20be%20pretty%20fancy%20%E2%80%A6

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Shray Sharma

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science Engineering

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Shray SharmaBachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science Engineering

As an aspiring web and app developer, Shray has a passion for working with promising startups. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Maharaja Surajmal Institute Of Technology while gaining experience in digital marketing. Shray has already earned a Google Analytics Certification and is well-equipped to handle analytics and data management tasks. He has also served as a marketing manager at Parallax Virtual Arts, where he oversaw the company's social media, content, and SEO strategies. Shray's goal is to create engaging content that resonates with audiences and offers valuable insights.

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