Modest Treehopper  (four photos)
Publilia modesta

The is the second set of this species of treehoppers that I discovered on Antelope Island but I found
 them on the same sunflower plant two weeks apart
© Carol Davis, 9-7-2010

family of treehoppers
These nymphs are in various stages of development.. They were so tiny and cute I could
hardly stand it. I didn't want to leave them behind. 
© Carol Davis, 9-7-2010

treehoppers being tended by ants
Because of the rough, tan coloring of these two treehoppers (that were my first discovery on the Island),
I call them Fig Newtons (they seem to have that dark, chewy center). The hoodies they're wearing with the
white fringe only add to their appeal. This ant is "tending" them.
© Carol Davis, 8-23-2010

Treehoppers excrete a sweet substance called "honeydew" which, in turn, is used by the ants in their nests so they are constantly
being watched over by them.  As I was photographing these insects, the ants came out to make sure they were all right. 
to Wikipedia, treehoppers "belong to a lineage that is at least 40 million years old".
  © Carol Davis, 8-23-2010

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