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Understated beauty

Fotolab_246_SiteAt the depths of the Lapa do Baixão, a cave only recently explored in the Luiú municipality of southwestern Bahia State, tiny insects live without ever seeing the light of day. Literally, many of these inhabitants of the total darkness were not even given eyes, so useless would they be there.  Such is the case of this faded planthopper discovered in 2013 by a group from the Subterranean Ecology Laboratory of the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), which has neither the vivid coloring nor the functional wings typical of its non-cave-dwelling relatives.  Christened with the genus name that refers to the locality in which it was found and the species name that translates to “blind” in Latin, Luiuia caeca was described in the June 2016 issue of the journal Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift.

Image submitted by Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira, a professor in the Biology Department at UFLA