Thursday 27 May 2010

Centromeria viridistigma (Kirby, 1891)

When I posted this planthopper in Flickr sometime ago, I had a question mark associated with its species name as its identification was doubtful. It is not a question anymore, thanks to Dr. Zhi-Shun Song from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. He contacted me a couple days ago, after finding my images in the web. And after confirming its identification, Song sang this:

"... at present, I am revising this species, along with other dictyopharid species. In my studied specimens, the body colors are depigmentized owing to their old nature. So I would appreciate some ecological pictures of Centromeria viridistigma that you could give me"

And I obliged straightaway.

It should be noted that I originally sought "ID help" for this from our own, Dr. Priyantha Wijesinghe who is based in the USA. He, having crosschecked with an expert on a related family, forwarded me the following reply he'd got:

"... I reach the same conclusion as you: probably close to Centromeria viridistigma (or maybe it is that species) but as I am not a Dictyo specialist, I really cannot tell you more ..."

It was from this point onwards that I had it named Centromeria viridistigma with a question mark. This helped Zhi-Shun to find this image in the web, and to finally confirm that it was indeed that species. So, a big thank you goes to Priyantha and his unnamed colleague for doing the initial "infanty work"—in clearing the ground of landmines, IEDs and pitfalls by narrowing it down to more or less to this species—before 'Special forces' that is Zhi-Shun could arrive in to really finish the business.

This planthopper was photographed at Sinharaja 'World heritage' rain forest in Dec, 2008, during a 14-day Absolute Birding tour with Dr. Richard Bishop and Anne Bishop from Kenya. To shoot this, I used the same rig that I used for the 'Sri Lanka Tree-climbing crab'.

This planthopper was barely 3 cm in length.

The classification of this species as per the current knowledge is:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Infraorder: Fulgoromorpha
Superfamily: Fulgoroidea
Family: Dictyopharidae
Genus: Centromeria
Specific name: viridistigma (Kirby, 1891),
Scientific name: Centromeria viridistigma (Kirby, 1891)


Kirigalpoththa said...

Very colorful creature. That blue is almost luminous.
Congrats on identifying it! By the way, 3 experts from three continents have helped for the identification.

No chance of renaming it as Centromeria amilasalgado or something like that?

Janith said...

Love the colours! Interesting story behind the identification too... :D

dev wijewardane said...

Definitely an interesting story. Great capture.

rainfield61 said...

The colours are definitely beautiful. Such a minute critter has gained a respectful effort from so many people.

Stuart Price said...

That is one colourful insect!

Amila Salgado said...

Hi K,
Thanks as always!
It's always a good feeling to get an unknown invertebrate such as this identified to species level, as popular guides on them are non-existent.

Haha...not a chance to what you asked last.

Hi Chavie,
Thank you! Some of our small life forms are so amazingly coloured.

Hi Dev,
Thank you!
Glad you liked it.

Hi Rainfield,
Indeed, it has received a lot of attention.

Hi Stu,
Thank you!
And rather gaudy too:)

Me-shak said...

YOu do it again :D I'm in awe. Love the shades :) Interesting how hard it is to identify this particular species.
Looking forward for more.


Redzlan aka Tabib said...

Now back to your real specialization.
Spectacular at macro work -Congratulation!

Amila Salgado said...

Hi Shak,
This was captured at night near our overnight base at Sinharaja. My clients held a diffused flashlight to illuminate this for me to get the focusing right. I should say a Big thank you for them too, as without them I would have not got this.

Hi Tabib,
Thank you!
I am quite pleased to have contributed in popularising natural history this way.

Amila Kanchana said...

Working on identifying s species is exciting, isn't it?

Amila Salgado said...

Hi Amila,
Being able to put a name to such an obscure critter is cool.

depalan, saju said...

amazing stuff !!

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