When I was out walking yesterday, I saw this intersting looking insect, called Lantern Bug.
The Lantern Bug (Pyrops candelarius), also known as “Lantern Fly” or “Elephant Bug”, is a tropical insect and related to the cicada family. Its contrasting colors earned its name, despite the fact that they do not emit any light at all.
There are about 30 species in Southeast Asia. They are about 1.5-3.0 inches long and have a wingspan of 2 to 2.5 inches wide, depending on the species.
Lantern Bugs are plant eaters. Its big “nose” in fact is an extended mouth, which is used to suck the sap from plants and trees. In Hong Kong, they mainly feed on Longan/ lychee trees, so it is called Longan Bug locally.
Lantern Bug is a very old insect and has been around for more than 300 million years. A famous myth is that persons bitten by Lantern Bug will die instantly unless they have sex within 24 hours. In fact, this bug doesn’t bite and its long mouth is only used to suck sap from trees.