The Too Flat Planthopper

flatid  planthopper at rest on underside of plant stem

A flatid planthopper tries to look inconspicuous though its light coloration stands out — particularly in a black and white photograph.

This planthopper was very light-colored teal or aquamarine, if you will, which made it a good candidate for a monochrome rendition. This is the only flatid I have photographed, and honestly I can’t remember seeing any others except in photographs. The oddly conspicuous coloration on a creature that wanted anything but to be conspicuous made me wonder if it is an introduced species. A quick search on BugGuide.net suggests that it is probably Flatormenis proxima, the Northern Flatid Planthopper, a North American species, to which I say: it might be time to pick a better resting place, lest it be your resting place.

In the end the only one harassing it was me. Of course, it got revenge, as the only one harassing me in the end was the planthopper, or its image, that is. The main problem, other than some blown out highlights that I tamped down a bit with some selective layer mask work, was the lack of focus. This problem might seem to you wholly inappropriate since this subject is the theoretically perfect candidate for the narrow depth of field inherent to macro work in that it is flat. So much so it is right there in the taxonomic nomenclature. And yet, I just could not get it into focus. (Come to think of it, this sounds like an eerily familiar blog topic that I refuse to link to past posts!) It’s very frustrating, and I am now picturing a sailor out to sea for years who can’t seem to get his sea legs underneath him. Sometimes I guess you’re (or I’m) just on tilt. Anyhow, I hope your Friday is standing out like a bug in black and white; may your weekend come into perfect focus.

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