Wax-tailed planthopper, Utria National Park, Colombia
On our 2nd day in Utria National Park, we crossed the river to have a morning hike in the forest there, after which we would return to Bahia Solano later in the day. After much waiting around for somebody to arrange a boat, we finally came ashore into an incredible forest. Humid, messy, at times a bit steep to hike, yet largely untouched.
The first interesting find we came across was this large very weird insect. We had no idea what it was, and considered it was perhaps infested with a fungus or parasite.
Nope, it's supposed to look like this. The wax-like tails are formed from its main food, plant juice, and serve as a defense to predators. The species is also described as having courtship behavior before mating. And one more interesting detail is that the orange appendage below its orange eye, is one of their antennae.