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Researching insects is both fascinating and difficult. With 4-5 million different species and a corresponding diversity in communication signals, “once you get into the insect business you’ve got plenty to do.”
Tree-hoppers are intimately adapted to the host plant on which they live. “Their whole life cycle is timed to the progression of their plant,” explains Cocroft. In the fall they lay eggs in the bark; later, in the spring, the tree’s sap rising triggers the eggs to develop and hatch just as the leaves begin to emerge, providing the nymphs with new growth to eat.