Dr. Trond Larsen (Director, Rapid Assessment Program, USA) was lucky enough to notice and photograph the tiny insect—about five millimeters long—during an international expedition of field biologists to the mountainous region of southeastern Suriname in 2012. (Related: “Remote Rain Forest Expedition Finds 60 New Species.”)
It was a quick trick done “with much difficulty, as they jump away very fast,” said Larsen, of Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program (RAP).
That’s also why Larsen wasn’t able to collect a specimen of the tufted bug, which is needed to compare it to other insects and figure out if it’s a known species.
Another thing that makes identification tough is that the planthopper was in the nymph stage of development, which means that it looks very different from adults.