New Treehopper Genus Named After Singer Selena Quintanilla

Posted on April 7, 2016

Selenacentrus wallacei

A new genus of treehopper was been discovered. It is found in Texas and northern Mexico. The genus was identified by Dr. Brendan O. Morris and Dr. Christopher H. Dietrich of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The genus has been named Selenacentrus after singer Selena Quintanilla, who was known as the Queen of Tejano Music. The new species (pictured above) has been named wallacei in honor of Matthew S. Wallace, a biology professor from East Stroudsburg University. Selenacentrus wallacei was discovered after examining 45 specimens of mislabeled treehoppers that were borrowed from several different collections.

There are at least 3,500 species of treehoppers worldwide. They can be found on all major landmasses except for Antarctica and Madagascar. The insects all feed on plant sap by sucking it out with their piercing mouthparts. Some treehoppers exude a substance called "honeydew" which they share with ants in a mutualistic relationship.

A research paper on the new genus and species was published here in the Entomological Society of America.

Photo: Annals of the Entomological Society of America

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