This treehopper that I photographed at La Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur strongly resembles our North American species of Campylenchia due to the brown elytra and lack of any yellow markings on the pronotal crest. However, the rounded lower margin of the frons (more apparent in the full-sized version of this photo) eliminates this genus as a possibility and suggests instead the closely related Enchenopa.
I sent this and another photo to Andy Hamilton (Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes) for his opinion. Andy claims to be a hack when it comes to Neotropical Membracidae (focusing more on world Cercopidae and Holarctic Cicadellidae), but he is a much better hack than I! In his reply, he mentions that a lot of work is still needed on tropical species and genera, and in fact none of our North American species of Enchenopa actually resemble the type-species from Brazil (Membracis monoceros). Most of what we now consider Enchenopa will likely be referable back to the genus Membracis (type genus of the family), but where the species in the above photo will eventually fall remains anyone’s guess.
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2011