Sorry, let’s rewrite that. “Near the local pond no one can hear you scream”.
I have never seen anything quite like this before. The locals must have thought I had completely lost the plot as I was kneeling in mud on the edge of a local pool snapping away, totally oblivious of anybody if they were watching me.
Anyway, this is a planthopper bug, a nymph most likely from the Delphacidae family of planthoppers. They are like the size of a grass seed. But the horror and subsequent screaming comes from the bulbous package it is forced to carry on its tail end.
It is a parasite, a Dryinid wasp larva which is part outside and inside of the planthopper. It feeds on the host, eventually breaking out for pupation and killing it in the process.
With special thanks to Stewart Bevan for helping to narow the species down and for confirming the ‘alien’ in our midst.
Local pond, Staffordshire, England. July 2017.
Please click on an image for a larger more detailed view. Clicking a second time may get you a little closer.