Monday, December 05, 2011
Hopper on a grape vine.
This wingless little chap was about 15mm long and so cute! The thing I like about critters like this one is not only are they exquisitely fine but because of his eye structure you can clearly see that he was looking at me.
This particular insect appears to have basic compound eyes made up of many ommatidium which allow a wide and accuate field of vision. Being flightless but a hopper he wouldn't have more than 1000 ommatidium. A housefly has about 4000. Flying insects which rely on strong eyesight include the butterfly, praying mantis and dragonfly. In the case of the butterfly - up to 17000 ommatidium - they need to probe precisely into flowers while keeping an eye out for predators. For the praying mantis and dragonfly - both 30000 - they have ultra compound eyes to enable their formidable hunting skills.