National Geographic : 2001 Oct
FULGOROIDEA, DANUM VALLEY (LEFT) LIBELLULIDAE, DANUM VALLEY (BELOW) What goes in must come out, but rarely does animal waste look so graceful. This plant hopper nymph (left) feeds on plantjuices with a tubelike mouth. The longfibers that appear to form a tail are the waxy residueof sugars discharged after the hopperextracts nutrients from sap. Glands arrangedlike a spaghetti presspush out the filaments, composed of microscopichollow tubes. These filaments may deter predators, or they may simply break away if a predator tries to grab the false tail. Whether they have tricky defenses or not, many insectsfind that night is the safest time. A dragonfly (below) uses the cover of dark ness to emergefrom its larval skin and dry its wings. It will be able to fly by morning, but several days will pass before its body fully hard ens and develops characteristicbrightcolors.