Dear Typhlocybinae Leafhoppers (Homptera: Cicadellidae),

You must understand how difficult this is.

Indeed, I captured many of your brethren, and I killed thousands of them in vials of ethyl alcohol. I was nearly indiscriminate about which lives I took, and which I spared. I then spent many hours removing their genitalia from their tiny abdomens and carefully dissecting their tiny bits, photographing them and comparing them. When I completed this, I spun the tiny remains in vials with DNA-extracting fluids, and set about sequencing and analyzing their genes.

I did all of this just for a PhD dissertation, just for a rank of some kind in our cutthroat culture. I don’t expect you to understand or forgive me.

I understand that to you I may seem mad, insane, heartless. I have thought about this long and hard. Sometimes late into the night, and sometimes with drugs. I hope that after all is said and done, the work I have provided will add to the permanent knowledge of all the world. That it will aid us in our further understanding of ecology and evolution. That somehow, despite all this nastiness, it will benefit even you, those of you who remain.

By the way, those of you who remain, where exactly are you? I mean, just for future reference, in case I need to contact you?


Geoff Balme
A very distraught scientist
Raleigh, NC