Hoppers of North Carolina:
Spittlebugs, Leafhoppers, Treehoppers, and Planthoppers
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sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Osbornellus unicolorThis species is brownish overall, with dense brown coloring and no bold markings on much of the body and wings; the wing venation is dark, and the tips of the wings are blackish. The face, vertex and pronotum are a uniform brown color. The female pregenital sternite has the posterior margin truncated, often times with an indication of a central tooth; on either side of this tooth the segment is emarginate. Adults are 5.0 mm long. (Beamer 1937), (DeLong 1948)

For images of a live individual, see: BG.

Recorded from 2 counties in the Piedmont; rare, possibly under collected.WoodlandsHerbaceous vegetation
Osbornellus rotundusA golden yellowish-orange species with a broad reddish-orange band in front of the eyes. There are three dark brown to black lines on the vertex: one in front of the reddish band, and two others on the crown margin. There is a reddish band at the anterior and of the pronotum, and a broken band near the posterior edge; otherwise, the pronotum is yellowish with some black marks. The scutellum is yellow and orange, with a bold orange triangle in the anterior corners. The wings are yellowish with some dark brown to black and white marks; the venation is dark brown to black. The underside is a pale yellow color. The female pregenital sternite (sternite number 7) has the posterior margin truncate or slightly produced with a small median projection; otherwise, the posterior margin is straight. Male subgenital plates are long and acutely tapered, with long filamentous apexes. Adults are around 5.0-5.5 mm long. (DeLong 1948)Recorded from a few counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, but likely under collected and more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found in semi-open woodlands dominated by pine, and mixed hardwood forest; reported from herbaceous vegetation in open woodlands (DeLong 1948)
Osbornellus limosusA golden yellowish-orange species with a broad reddish-orange band in front of the eyes. There are three dark brown to black lines on the vertex: one in front of the reddish band, and two others on the crown margin. There is a reddish band at the anterior end of the pronotum, and a broken band near the posterior edge; otherwise, the pronotum is yellowish with some black marks. The scutellum is yellow and orange, with a bold orange triangle in the anterior corners. The wings are yellowish with some dark brown to black and white marks; the venation is dark brown to black. The underside is a pale yellow color. The female pregenital sternite (sternite number 7) has the posterior margin roundedly produced on either side
of a moderate/shallow notch. Male plates are long and tapered to acute tips. Adults are around 5.0-6.0 mm long. (DeLong 1948)
Recorded from the Piedmont; likely extremely abundant and common, but under reported since need to look at the underside to determine species.Mixed hardwood forest; open habitat.
Osbornellus consorsA medium-sized leafhopper that is typically a pale reddish-brown color, marked with a fuscous and yellowish mottled pattern. Lines on the vertex blend with and are not much darker than the base color. The pronotum has a row of pale white spots along its anterior edge, behind the eyes; there is also a pale midline. The scutellum is orange-brown, with a bold orange mark in the anterior corners. The female seventh sternite has a sinuate posterior margin; each male plate is long with an attenuate tip. Adults are around 5.5-6.0 mm long. (DeLong 1948). Nymphs are somewhat bicolored, with brown sides, a yellowish-white underside, and a mostly yellowish-white midline down the body.This species has been recorded from a few counties in the Piedmont and mountains, but likely misidentified or under collected; probably more abundant in the right habitat.Mixed to open forest habitat; where herbaceous vegetation is. Has been found near mixed hardwoods and forest edge.
Osbornellus clarusA medium-sized leafhopper that is typically brownish. This species has a characteristic bold, dark mottled pattern on the wings, contrasting with large white spots in the middle, and a bold black and orange pattern on the head. Additionally, there is a bold prominent white triangle on the apex of the head. The pronotum has a pale grayish median line, and there are white spots along the anterior edge. The scutellum has two dark brown triangles in the anterior corners; otherwise, the scutellum is mostly yellowish white. The wing venation is dark, and the legs are yellowish. The female pregenital sternite is roundedly produced, while each male plates has a long and slender attenuated apex. Adults are around 5.0-5.5 mm long. (Beamer 1937), (DeLong 1948)Uncommon; scattered records throughout the state.Mixed to open forest habitat; where herbaceous vegetation is.Herbaceous plants
Osbornellus auronitensA golden yellowish-orange species with a broad reddish-orange band in front of the eyes. There are three dark brown to black lines on the vertex: one in front of the reddish band, and two others on the crown margin. There is a reddish band at the anterior end of the pronotum, and a broken band near the posterior edge; otherwise, the pronotum is yellowish with some black marks. The scutellum is yellow and orange, with a bold orange triangle in the anterior corners. The wings are yellowish with some dark brown to black and white marks; the venation is dark brown to black. The underside is a pale yellow color. The female pregenital sternite (sternite number 7) has a deep V-shaped notch that extends almost two-thirds of the way inwards. Adults are around 5.5-6.0 mm long. The male plates are elongate, triangular, and with long attenuated apexes. (Beamer 1937), (DeLong 1948)Recorded from the mountains and Piedmont; likely extremely abundant and common, but under reported since need to look at underside. Woodlands, open areas
Xantholobus muticusThis species varies considerably in both size and color, and somewhat in the shape of the pronotal crest. Generally this species is large and robus, with the pronotum swollen behind the middle. The pronotum is brownish, though can be black as well, with pale/white transverse bands; the lateral margins of the pronotum can be pale, and two of the pale bands typically coverge posterior to the mid-dorsal spot, continuing as one pale line down the center of the pronotum to the head. The forewings are smoky hyaline, typically with brown to black bases and tips. The head is subtriangular and yellow, with brown marks. The eyes are prominent and the ocelli are distinct and brown. The undersurface of the head and thorax is black and the abdomen is yellowish; the legs are ferruginous. For more pics of this species, see here and here. Adults are typically 7.0 to 8.0 mm long, with males 6.8 to 7.1 mm. (Kopp)Recorded across the state. Seasonal distribution: 18 April-14 July (CTNC)Where oak is present.Quercus alba, Q. laevis, Q. prinus, Q. stellata (CTNC)
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Menosoma cinctumA fairly distinctively marked species, ranging in color from greenish yellow to dark brown. Typically the wings have a pale base and brown apical half. This two-toned wing pattern/coloration is characteristic of M. cinctum. However, some individuals can be paler and less bold overall, with a less distinct, smaller pale transverse band across the wings. The wing venation is red to reddish-brown, with the cross nervures on each clavus and the costa black. The vertex is bluntly conical, being one-half longer in the middle than near the eyes. The scutellum is pale and concolorous with the wing bases. The underside of the body is dark. The female pregenital sternite has the posterior margin slightly rounded, slightly produced in the middle. The male subgenital plates are long with broad bases that concavely narrow to slender upturned apices. Adults are 5.5-6.0 mm long. (DeLong, 1948)

This species has three subspecies: binaria, cinctum, and mexicanum (found from Mexico to Argentina). Subspecies binaria resembles typical cinctum but has a much darker, more intensified coloration, appearing as almost black with a broad white band on the wings; it can be described [and is by some] as looking as if the hopper was dipped in paint. The wings have a bold black blotch on either side of the junction of the claval nervures, with two similarly-colored blotches at the base of the costa on each wing; the pale, whitish transverse wing band is between these dark markings and the blackish posterior halves of the wings. The rest of the wings are largely blackish except for a pair of pale spots at the apex of the clavi, and a hyaline area across the outer apical cells. The vertex and pronotum are pale with brown or fuscous markings. The vertex is slightly more angled than typical cinctum, and the female pregenital sternite is slightly shorter. This ssp. is 5.5 mm long. (Ball, 1931) Some more images of subspecies binaria: 1, 2, 3.

For diagrams of this species, see: 3i. For additional images showing variation, see: BG. Here is a neat image of a pair mating, showing difference in pattern and color.

Scattered records across the state; surprisingly not encountered more, as it is typically locally common where it has been found.Mixed hardwood forest and forest edgeQuercus rubra, Salix sp. (DL)
Erythridula pfrimmeriThis species has the blackest mesonotum of any species in this genus; in fact, the mesonotum is so dark that it shows through the pronotum, essentially resulting in a large continuous black patch on the thorax over the scutellum and pronotum. The rest of the body is a pale, whitish color with yellow or reddish-orange lines/marks; the variation in line color is age related, with sexually mature individuals having darker (red) marks. The face is pale, as is the underside of the thorax except for the mesosternum which is dark. The abdomen is dark dorsally. Adults are 2.8-3.0 mm long. (Dmitriev & Dietrich, 2009)

For more images of this species, see: BG.

This species has been recorded from a few counties in both the Piedmont and mountains. In Wake county, this species has been found to be locally common (at a single location). Likely a rare to uncommon species in the state, possibly found elsewhere in the right habitat. Has been found in mixed hardwood forest. Ulmus alata, Acer pensylvanicum, Quercus nigra, Q. pagodafoliae, Ilex decidua (3I)
Erythridula praecisaYellowish or white with orange-red stripes on the wings and a distinctive band of dark blotches across the wings before the apical cells; this pattern is characteristic of this species. There is an inverted yellow V extending across the pronotum and vertex, with the vertex midline pale. The scutellum is either completely dark or pale with darker lateral triangles; sometimes in darker individuals the dark mesonotum is visible through the pronotum. The underside of the thorax is entirely dark, and the abdomen is dark dorsally (typically visible through the wings). Adults are 2.8-3.2 mm long. (Dmitriev & Dietrich, 2009)

For more images of this species, see: BG.

A couple recent records from the Piedmont, likely more abundant in the right habitat. Forest edgeBetula alleghaniensis, Betula lutea, Betula papyrifera, Betula populifolia, Fagus sp. (3i)
Menosoma stoneiA small, tawny species with a short rounded vertex that is essentially parallel margined. The wings are tawny overall, concolorous with the pronotum, scutellum and vertex, and there are scattered pale spots in the cells. The wing venation and nervures are a distinctive red color except for the reflexed nervures along the costa, which have fuscous ends; the venation near the apex of the clavi is also fuscous, and the wing tips are fuscous as well. The male subgenital plates are triangular. Adults are 4.5-5.0 mm long. (Ball, 1931)

For diagrams of this species, see: 3i. For additional images of specimens, see: BOLD.

Rare, only one record from the Coastal Plain.
Japananus hyalinus
Japanese Maple Leafhopper
A distinctive looking leafhopper. Adults have transparent wings, which can have a bluish, yellowish, or white tint. The wings typically have two to three transverse rufousy bands across the wings, though the bands might not be as apparent in some paler individuals and instead will be replaced by large dots. The wing venation typically is reddish. The head is distinctly pointed, and both the thorax and head are yellowish-green. Some individuals can show a grayish head and wing bands. Nymphs are also distinctive: they resemble Scaphytopius nymphs shape wise, but Japanese Maple nymphs have a much longer head and tail (BG). Nymphs have a pale yellowish-green body with a reddish-tipped abdomen.

See here for diagrams of this species: 3i.

A locally common species, recorded primarily from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. Woodlands, mixed hardwood forests, shrubby areas, forest edge, open woodlands, etc.Maples, both native and non-native: Acer palmatum (Japanese maple), Acer circinatum, Acer rubrum (red maple), etc. (DL)
Deltanus texanusA stunning, beautifully-marked, unmistakeable leafhopper. Adults have a grayish-blue body with long, bold red longitudinal stripes running across the back. Some of the rear wing cells are dark brown. The head is rounded and the face is dark. Nymphs are also distinctively marked: several bold rufous lines run longitudinally on an otherwise pale body. A couple recent records from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, possibly more abundant (likely in the coastal plain) in the right habitat.Has been found in pine forest with lots of brushy and grassy ground vegetation.
Fieberiella florii
Privet Leafhopper
A distinctive looking species: its shape mimics the buds of its plant hosts (UC). It is rufous overall with fine black spots all over the wings and pronotum, characteristic of this species. There is a white band with thin white border going across the sides of the eyes and head. Females have a prominent white band across the middle of an otherwise rufous abdomen; the face is a yellowish color. Nymphs are green with a small blue line across the body lengthwise. There are small black freckles across the body, and the tip of the abdomen is a pink/red color. (BG)

For diagrams of this species, see: 3i.

Scattered records in the Piedmont and coastal plain; probably more abundant in the right habitat.This species feeds on a wide variety of broad-leafed, woody trees, shrubs and vines. Favorite host plants include privet, boxwood, myrtle, hawthorn, pyracantha, Ceanothus, Cotoneaster, fruit trees in the Rose family (such as cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, apples, and crabapples), and other woody plants in the rose family. (BG) (UC)
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Arundanus shermaniA broad-headed species with a pale marginal band on the vertex that is bordered by a narrow brown band underneath and a dark irregular band above; the upper band is composed of three triangular spots on each side of the margin. The vertex is broad and relatively slightly pointed at the apex; it is 1/3 wider between the eyes than at the median length. The female pregenital sternite is truncated without any excavation; it has a relatively smooth posterior margin. (DeLong 1941)Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
Arundanus sarissusThis species resembles A. latidens in general appearance but has the upper brown band on the vertex margin more broken and uneven. Adults are orange-yellow with a white vertex margin, bordered below by a black band and above by a brown band that is formed from three contiguous dark spots that are elongated; the central pair of spots are the largest. The vertex is bluntly angled, 1/3 times wider between the eyes than the median length. The female pregenital sternite appears truncated, with "the posterior margin roundedly excavated, the central portion of which is filled to the distance of the lateral angles with what appears to be an underlying membrane." The male genital plates are tapered to bluntly pointed apexes, appearing triangular and divergent from one another. Adults are 4.5-5.0 mm long. (DeLong 1941)Only known from a single county in the Coastal Plain; likely more abundant in the right habitat.Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
Arundanus rubralineusA species with a distinctive coloration and a broad, bluntly angled vertex that is about 1/4 wider between the eyes than the median length. The margin of the vertex usually lacks dark or white bands and is typically without dark markings; occasionally there is a black line on the margin. The vertex is only marked by a pair of broad longitudinal orange stripes, with two faint dark spots near the vertex tip inside the orange bands; these orange bands extends onto the pronotum, with a couple more smaller orange bands on either side. The female pregenital sternite is truncated/emarginate with a narrow incision in the middle that extends 2/3 of the way to the anterior margin. The male genital plates have broad bluntly rounded apexes that are divergent from one another. Adults are around 5.0 mm long. (DeLong 1941)A single record from the Coastal Plain; likely more abundant in the right habitat.Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
Arundanus propriusThis species has a strongly produced, angled vertex with a bold pattern. The vertex margin is white, bordered below by a uniform black band and above by a series of black spots: there are three large triangular black spots separated from one another on either side of the vertex, with the central pair the largest. The vertex is slightly wider between the eyes than the median length. The male genital plates are long and narrow, bluntly pointed and divergent from one another. Adults are around 4.5 mm long. (DeLong 1941), (DeLong 1948)

For diagrams of this species, see: Zahniser.

Rare; recently found in the Piedmont; maybe more abundant in the right habitat.Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
Arundanus parvulusA small species that is orange overall without defined color markings except for "a narrow pale waved marginal band between a narrow ventral marginal line, which is waved, and a few faint markings above [the] margin, especially a pair of faint spots [in the] middle and a faint spot next [to] each ocellus." The vertex is bluntly angled and is 1/3 wider between the eyes than the median length. The female pregenital sternite has the posterior margin broadly, concavely rounded; the inside of this excavation can be slightly waved. The male genital plates are long and slender, triangular in shape. (DeLong 1941)Only recorded from a single county in the Coastal Plain; probably more abundant in the right habitat.Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
Arundanus nacreosusThis species is distinct in color with sexually dimorphic coloration: males are a deep uniform orange while females are milk white without definite color markings. The vertex is bluntly angled, 1/3 to 1/2 wider between the eyes than in the middle. The female pregenital sternite is twice as broad as it is long, with the posterior margin excavated half way to the anterior base with a broad triangular notch, which is interrupted in the middle on either side with rounded lobes; this gives the appearance of three distinct notches. The male genital plates are longer than broad, with rounded tips that diverge slightly from one another. Adults are 5.0-5.5 mm long. (DeLong 1941), (DeLong 1948)

For diagrams of this species, see: Zahniser.

Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
Arundanus marginellusA broad-headed species that is tawny to grayish in color, tinged with orange. The vertex is orange with a white margin that is bordered above and below by a black line; the above line is broader either side of the middle and tapers to a very narrow line above the ocelli. The female pregenital sternite has the lateral angles produced and rounded, with an excavation in the middle on either side of a median produced tooth that is broad; often the posterior margin has a sinusoidal, trilobate appearance. The male genital plates are long and slender, gradually tapering to narrow acute tips divergent from one another. Adults are 5.0-5.5 mm long. (DeLong 1941), (DeLong 1948)

For diagrams of this species, see: Zahniser.

Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Arundanus latidensOverall, this species is brown tinged with orange and yellow/yellow-green. The vertex is broadly, bluntly angled, about 1/4 wider between the eyes than at the median length. The vertex margin is white, bordered above and below with a dark brown to black line; the above line is continuous but waved and interrupted in the middle with a very slight white incision. The female pregenital sternite is very distinctive and different from other members in this genus, with a broad produced convex tooth in the middle; this tooth extends beyond the rounded lateral angles of the sternite. The male genital plates are long and slender and triangular, diverging from one another. Adults are around 5.0 mm long. (DeLong 1941)Uncommon to locally common with scattered records across the Coastal Plain; likely more abundant in the right habitat.Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria)
Nionia palmeriA fairly distinctive dark, shiny blackish species with a short but robust head that is conically pointed. The apical nervures of the wings, ventral margins of the eyes, and antennae are reddish; the amount of red at the apex of each wing can vary among individuals. Some individuals can be covered in a gray to white dusting. The pronotum is strongly punctured and the wing veins are bordered with punctures. The eyes are a silvery white to blackish. The male subgenital plates are triangular. The female pregenital sternite is slightly produced in the middle. Adults are 4.0-5.0 mm long. (DeLong 1948)Uncommon to rare in the state, infrequently encountered; scattered records from the mountains to Coastal Plain.Moist woodlands (DeLong 1948)Grasses (DeLong 1948)
Stictocephala militarisA greenish species with prominent red horns, a red pronotal ridge, and whitish speckling on the pronotum. The eyes can also be red, and the legs are green. A common species, recorded mainly from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. Seasonal distribution: 19 June-16 October (CTNC)Has been found in brushy, grassy habitat near mixed hardwood and pine forest.Cercis canadensis, Prunus serotina (CTNC)
Graphocephala hieroglyphicaA variable species, ranging in color from grayish-green or light blue to reddish-pink. The body and wings tend to be concolorous, and the wing venation is typically blackish though it can be reddish and appear as if the red color is bleeding into the wing cells. There are bold black lines on the wings, and black markings on the corners of an otherwise yellowish scutellum. The head and pronotum are concolorous with the base wing color but have black markings. The head has complex, bold, black and symmetrical markings on either side of a pale, unmarked midline; these markings are characteristic of this species. The female pregenital sternite has a truncated, convex triangular projection and is more than twice as long as the preceding sternite; it extends outwards. Male subgenital plates are long and triangular. Adults are 6.0-7.0 mm long. (Delong 1960)

A distinctive color form, var. dolobrata, is a very dark blue to blackish color with scattered pale markings. The extent of dark coloration can vary among individuals, with the head pattern characteristic of this species easy to discern in some specimens, while in others the head can appear more or less a solid bluish-black color with a pale midline. The clavus of the wings tends to appear as a bold, thick pale yellowish to white line that contrasts with the rest of the wing color; the costal margin can also be pale. The scutellum is similarly colored to other color forms of this species. Adult males are 5.5-5.7 mm long, while females are 6.0-6.4 mm. (Nielson, 1968)

Another distinctive form, var. atra is even darker than dolobrata individuals. It is an almost entirely uniform bluish-black color. This form could be confused with very dark forms of Tylozygus geometricus, if both were to occur in North Carolina [right now at least the dark form of T. geometricus is likely relegated to Florida]. However, note the difference in the shape of the body, particularly the head.

The nymphs of this species are fairly similar to those of G. gothica; location can probably distinguish species for now, and it appears that the nymphs of gothica have darker-brown sides of the body.

Uncommon to rare; only recorded from a few counties in the Piedmont.Has been found in grassy, field-like habitat as well as wet depressions.G. hieroglyphica: Willow (Salix sp.) (DeLong 1948)

Var. dolobrata: Willow (Salix longifolia, S. amygdaloides) and poplar (Populus monilfera); has also been found on broadleaf milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) (Nielson, 1968)

Graphocephala gothica
Amphigonalia gothica
A pinkish-brown species, distinctive in coloration among hoppers in the region; however, there can be slight variation in coloration and some individuals can range in color from yellowish to grayish-green. There is an "M" or omega-shaped dark brown to black mark on the top of the head, between the eyes, that is distinctive for this species; there is also a small dark spot at the apex of the head (which G. hieroglyphica lacks). Some individuals though can have head markings that are not very bold. This vertex of this species is slightly narrower and more pointed than in G. hieroglyphica. The wings tends to be concolorous with the rest of the body; sometimes some cells are darker than the venation. The female pregenital sternite has a truncated, convex triangular projection and is more than twice as long as the preceding sternite; it extends outwards. Male subgenital plates are long and triangular. Adults are 5.5-6.0 mm long. (DeLong 1960)

Nymphs are mostly pale in coloration with dark-brown to blackish bands running the entire length of the side of the body; the eyes are also mostly black with some white speckling.

Uncommon to rare; some old collection records and a couple recent from the mountains (low and high mountains); probably more abundant in this region. Shrubby, grassy, vegetated, open montane areasWillow (Salix sp.)? (DeLong 1948)
Driotura gammaroidesA species with a robust, short head and a shining black coloration. Adults are brachypterous, meaning they have short wings. The pronotum and abdomen are also short (abdomen is inflated in females), with the pronotum being three times as wide as long. Rarely does this species have macropterous, long-winged adults. The eyes are black with silver-speckles, and the legs are orange with dark feet. The female pregenital sternite is broadly and convexly rounded. The male subgenital plates have the outer margins convexly rounded to bluntly-tipped apices. Adults are 3 to 4 mm long. (Lawson, 1920), (DeLong, 1948)

There is a uniformly reddish-brown form with the last segment of the abdomen and ovipositor dark, and the eyes and ocelli dark too. This form is known as D. gammaroidea var. fulva and primarily occurs in the western and central U.S. (Lawson, 1920) It is known from Tennessee though and could therefore turn up in North Carolina (3i).

Another form, D. gammaroidea var. flava, has been collected in North Carolina. This form has a black vertex, pronotum and basal section of the abdomen, but the wings and final two or three segments of the abdomen are yellow (DeLong, 1948).

Infrequently encountered, rare- recorded from a couple counties in the Piedmont; possibly more abundant in the right habitat.Recorded in field/forest edge habitat.Grindelia ssp. (Lawson, 1920)
Driotura robustaA sexually dimorphic species, with males quite dark, almost black and females more of a creamy color. The wing venation is bold and reticulated, cream in color. This species has a robust, short head with black markings on the top between the eyes. The pronotum is also short, being around three times as wide as it is long. Much of the pronotum is covered with a pale band, and the edge near the head has black markings. The abdomen is speckled with white or black/brown (depending on the sex). Pale specimens are almost white. The female pregenital sternite is slightly emerginate posteriorly. The male subgenital plages have the inner margins rounded, outer edges emarginate and the apices obtuse and widely separated. Adults are 2.75 to 3.5 mm long. (Lawson, 1920), (DeLong, 1948)Rare- only recorded from a single county.Probably fields and other grassy areas.Grindelia ssp. (Lawson, 1920)
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Paraulacizes irrorata
Speckled Sharpshooter
Unmistakeable, this is the only speckled sharpshooter in the state. Adults are fairly large, 12mm in length, and usually have a mostly dark blue to black body with many yellowish to white spots/speckles. On each side of the body is a yellow "band" which widens into a white band around the sides of the head. Lastly, the front of the face has a slight pinkish tint on the white. Some adults, tenerals, can have a different coloration pattern; they are much lighter with brownish wings and a greenish head, and the eyes have a red line on the side. Other adults can have extremely vibrant and striking coloration.

Nymphs are small and green with a very hairy body (distinct for this species), especially the face, and short hind legs. BG

This species has been recorded across the state where it is uncommon to locally common.This species occurs in a variety of habitats, including grassy/brushy areas, forest edge, and mixed hardwood forest habitat. Asteraceae: Cirsium altissimum (tall thistle), Cirsium sp., Conyza canadensis (horseweed), Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce), Silphium integrifolium (wholeleaf rosinweed); Poaceae: Elymus virginicus (Virginia wild rye), Sorghum sp. (cultivated sorghum) (BG). Also found on Rhus copallina, Rhus glabra, Solidago, Robinia pseudoacacia, Phytolacca, Pinus, and Rubus (DL).
Erythridula crevecoeuriA reddish-brown species that appears mostly bicolored. The wings are mostly a reddish to reddish-brown color, sometimes very bright and vibrant, with contrasting pale wing tips. The scutellum concolorous with the wings, being dark; in some individuals, the reddish-brown color extends onto the pronotum. The vertex is yellow, as is the pale outer margins of the pronotum. The face and underside of the thorax are pale/yellowish, except for the mesosternum which is dark. The abdomen is dark. Adults are 3.0- 3.3 mm long. (Dmitriev & Dietrich, 2009)Recorded from several counties in the mountains and Piedmont where it is very uncommon; possibly more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found in mixed hardwood forest. Aesculus glabra, Aesculus sp. (3I)
Erasmoneura vulnerataA dark leafhopper with a reddish-brown color pattern, sometimes with a brighter red or green hue. The extensive brown patches on the wings and head are characteristic of this species; the brown color sort of resembles the color of dried-blood (hence 'vulnerata') (BG). Some individuals however have very vibrant red wings and sometimes a red head and thorax. There are small pale spots on the side of an otherwise dark head with a pale midline; these pale spots resemble white stripes next to the eyes. The pronotum and mesonotum are also mostly dark, and the anteclypeus is brown or black. There is a white patch on the costal margin of the wings, and the wing tips are a dark brown. The underside of the thorax (the mesosternum to be exact) is dark, the rest is pale. Adults are 2.7-3.2 mm long. (Dmitriev & Dietrich, 2007)

For more images of this species showing the array of variation, see: BG.

Recorded across the state, with a majority of records from the Piedmont where it is common; likely abundant across the state in the right habitat.Recorded from mixed hardwood forest, forest edge, and grassy areas.Vitis riparia, Vitis sp., Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Ilex decidua, Cercis canadensis, Aesculus sp., Ulmus alata, among others (3I); has also been found on Black Gum
Xyphon reticulatum
Bermudagrass Leafhopper
A greenish-yellow species that can be highly variable in color, with wings ranging from green to almost black (can also be brown, gray, or straw colored). The head and crown range from a tan uniform color to being cream-colored and marked with dark brown. These dark markings on the edge of the pronotum and on the head help distinguish this species from X. flaviceps. The pronotum is a greenish color while the scutellum is yellowish, sometimes with darker markings. The wing venation is usually greenish, sometimes white. The underside of the abdomen is typically yellow. Adults are around 6 mm long. (Catanach 2013)Rare- only several records from the state, and none recent. Grassy areasBermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) (BG)
Xyphon flaviceps
Yellow-headed Leafhopper
A medium-sized greenish species with a prominent orange head (even though flaviceps means yellow-headed) with two large black ocelli. The head and pronotum lack dark markings (outside of the ocelli), and the face is yellowish with white mottling on the edge of the crown. The pronotum and scutellum are greenish. The wings are mostly green with contrasting pale wing venation; the wing tips are densely reticulated, giving the appearance of a meshwork of cells. Eyes are greenish to blue in color, and the underside of the abdomen is mostly yellow. A medium-sized species, with adult males 4.5-5.0 mm long and females 5.0-6.3 mm. (Catanach 2013)Recorded across the state, with a majority of records coming from the Coastal Plain and Piedmont. Probably more abundant in grassy habitats.Recorded in grassy, field-type or prairie-grass habitat; also mixed forest edge.cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), alfalfa (Medicago sp.), beebalm (Monarda sp.), prickly Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), miscellaneous flowers/weeds, Digitaria sp., Fragaria sp. (Catanach 2013)
Tylozygus geometricusA very distinctive, brightly colored species that is slightly smaller, at 4.2- 4.5 mm, compared to its cousin T. bifidus. This species is mostly green, with green wings, a partly green-colored scutellum, and a green pronotum. There are bold yellow transverse bands bordered by black bands on the top of the head and thorax, and the abdomen is dark with a tinge of yellow. Lastly, the face is dark, characteristic of this species (AI).

There is a very dark form of this species where the green is replaced with a dark blue to black. It can range from partially bluish-black, showing some of the yellow and green lines found on normally colored adults, to an almost uniform bluish-black. This form though might only be found in Florida, per observations on Bugguide and iNaturalist.

Has been recorded across the state, primarily in the Piedmont; locally common where found, probably more common in the state in the right habitats.Recorded in a variety of grassy and brushy habitats, including microstygium. Has also been found in mixed hardwood forests.
Tylozygus bifidusA distinctively colored species with several color forms: blue, green, and dark. In all color forms, there are bold black lines on the wings, and bold black and white transverse lines around part of the head and pronotum. This species has reddish-orange colored eyes with a black spot. In some dark individuals, much of the body and wings may be so dark that the typical bifidus color pattern is not visible; however, the lines on the head and pronotum typically are still at least somewhat evident. Adults are usually 4.6 to 5.6 mm in length (BG).Recorded across the state, with a majority of records from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. Locally common where it has been found so far.Has been found in grassy, brushy habitats as well as mixed hardwood forest. Probably abundant in similar habitats.Salix sp.
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Helochara communis
Bog Leafhopper
A small, dark green leafhopper. The body and wings are covered with pits, and males have thickened tips to the antennae, forming a black diamond-shaped "club" (BG); both of these are traits characteristic of this genus. The underside of the abdomen, thorax, and head is mostly black, particularly in males. Males have shorter, blunter heads than females. Some individuals can appear very dark, and worn individuals can lose their green color. Males are 4.2-5.0 mm long, females are 4.9-6.0 mm. (Hamilton 1986) Nymphs are yellow overall with pointed heads.

This species could be most easily confused with Draeculacephala, but H. communis has a blunter head. In addition, H. communis is smaller than many Draeculacephala: click here for a good size comparison between H. communis and a Draeculacephala. H. communis also differs from Draeculacephala in being a [typically] uniform shade of green (Draeculacephala can have blue lines on the wings and thorax, and their wings have contrasting venation).

Found in the mountains where it is locally abundant; probably found throughout this region.Grassy, wet areas (such as river edges); also fields and brushy habitatCommon on rushes, especially toad rush (Juncus bufonarius), as well as other Juncus, Carex and Sparganium spp. (Hamilton 1986)
Sibovia occatoriaA very distinctive species with two color forms. The normal phase has a mostly black body with yellow stripes and a yellow underside and legs. There is also a pinkish/red phase with red replacing the black on the body. This reddish phase appears to be less common than the typical form. Nymphs of this species at present are unknown. An uncommon species, recorded from all three regions of the state; probably more abundant in the right habitat. Has been recorded in the state in grassy, brushy areas (including microstygium) and mixed hardwood forest edge.
Oncometopia orbona
Broad-headed Sharpshooter
One of our most recognizable, distinct leafhoppers and also one of the largest in the state at 11-12mm (BG). This species has a mostly blue body with black markings; the color is typically a light blue, but some individuals can also appear dark blue. The tip of the wings are a solid dark, blackish color. The front of the head, as well as the scutellum, legs, and underside of the body are yellow. The nymph shares a similar body shape to the adults, especially the head. Nymphs typically have a mostly greenish body, especially the abdomen, with a pale head; the eyes are dark, sometimes red.Very common species, has been recorded throughout the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, as well as in the Mountains. A common inhabitant of grassy, field-type, brushy habitat as well as forest edge. Has also been found in mixed hardwood forests and pine forests.This species is host to dozens of plant species, including Silphium integrifolium and Catalpa. For a complete list of host plants, see this page: host plants. Has been found on pickerel weed before.
Cuerna costalis
Lateral-lined Sharpshooter
A large, dark, black and red species; the wings are reddish with black venation. There is a conspicuous white stripe running along the sides of the abdomen to the head, wrapping around the crown. Both the blackish head and thorax are sprinkled with orangish marks, particularly along the anterior margin of the pronotum; the scutellum is a mixture of orange and black. The final two segments of the abdomen are largely red, and the legs are a bright, bold red.

Nymphs are pretty distinctive, having repetitive black and yellowish-white stripes over their bodies and dark eyes. However, the nymphs do show the red-black legs (the red on the inner part of the leg) that are characteristic of the adults.

Click here for more images of the adults and nymphs.

Locally common, with scattered records across the entire state.Found in fields, meadows, and other habitats with tall grass such as open forest.This species has dozens of host plants, including Rudbeckia and Monarda. Click here for a list of host plants: Host Plants.
Homalodisca vitripennis
Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
A large leafhopper, adults are 11-14 mm in length and have a large flattened head. This species has a blackish head and thorax with white spots, and the sides of the abdomen are a mixture of black and white patches. Wing veins are reddish to brown in color; the base half of the wings have "glassy" or transparent wing patches while the other half is dark in color with red, brown, and black patterns. The face and legs of adults are yellow-orange. The underside of the abdomen is speckled black and white, and the head and thorax are yellow. Nymphs shape-wise resemble the adults, especially the head; they have a grayish to brown body.
For additional pics of adults, see Glassy-winged Sharpshooter.
Uncommon to locally common, recorded from a handful of counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain; probably more abundant in the state in the right habitat.Found in grassy/brushy areas during much of the year, and hibernates in the forests during winter months.This species feeds on the xylem, the water conducting tissue, of herbaceous and woody plants. It has been known to feed on more than 100 plant species; preferred plants depend on the season and locality, but typically include crape myrtle, citrus, oak, Vitis, Hibiscus, and holly. GWSS
Homalodisca insolita
Johnsongrass Sharpshooter
A large, slender leafhopper with a very distinct coloration. It has a mostly dark brown to black body with a large, bold yellowish to white band on the side of the abdomen. The head is speckled with small yellowish to whitish spots, and the eyes are bicolored. The legs can have red or yellow bases. The underside of the body is reddish in color. The female pregenital sternite has the caudal margin deeply and narrowly excavated. Adult males are 9.9-10.2 mm long, females are 10.8-11.0 mm. (Pollard, 1965)

The infrequently encountered nymph is pale overall, with a light green abdomen and tan thorax and head. Many stripes and dots run across the body, and the eyes are red with white dashes on the edges.

Uncommon, has been recorded from a handful of counties in the mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain. Possibly more abundant in the state in the right habitat. Recorded in the state in grassy, brushy habitats such as fields and power-line cuts.Digitaria sanguinalis (crab grass), Panicum dichotimoflorum (fall panicum), Panicum maximum (Guinea grass), Sorghum halepense (Johnsongrass), Prunus persica (peach), Citrus sinensis (orange) (3i). Also reported from Acanthus, Solanum elaeagnifolium (DL)

H. insolita is a vector of phony peach disease virus. (Pollard, 1965)

Prescottia lobataA distinctively marked species, with alternating black and white markings along the inner margins of the wings, with two prominent white spots in the middle; the rest of the wings are largely blackish. The anterior base of each wing is white, giving a collared appearance to the hopper. The head and thorax are a pale yellowish-white color with brownish markings. The female pregenital sternite has a truncated posterior margin with a slight median notch. Adult male subgenital plates are slender and narrow with recurved tips. Adults are 5.0-6.0 mm long. (DeLong, 1948)

Nymphs are reportedly similar in coloration to adults, dark gray to blackish with a distinctive color pattern.

For additional images of this species, see: BG.

Recorded from only several counties in the mountains, likely more abundant in this region.Forest edge, open woodland, well vegetated areas.Solidago
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Destria bisignataA plain, dull yellowish-brown species that is uniformly colored except for two bold, black broken marks across the edge of the vertex. The vertex is bluntly angled. The female pregenital sternite has the posterior margin largely straight, slightly produced in the middle. The male subgenital plates are long and narrow, tapering to to form pointed tips. Adults are 4.0 mm long. (DeLong & Mohr, 1937)

For more images of specimens, see: BOLD. For images of a live individual, see: BG.

Recorded from a single county in the Coastal Plain; likely more abundant in the right habitat, particularly salt marshes.Salt marshes
Sanctanus tectusFairly distinctive in coloration and pattern. This species has a light brown mottled pattern on its wings, with whole wing cells colored (compared to complete bands found in S. cruciatus). The pattern itself can vary in color (seems to be a result of sexual dimorphism), ranging from dark brown to light grayish-brown. There are three black spots on the costal margin of each wing, and two black dots located below the mesonotum on the middle of the back. Two noticeable black spots can also be found on the top of the head. The thorax is mostly pale, except for the upper half of the pronotum which is brownish. Adults are 4.0-4.5 mm long (Oman 1934).Recorded recently from several counties in the Coastal Plain and far eastern Piedmont where it is uncommon; possibly more abundant in the state in the right habitat, especially in the Coastal Plain.Has been found in open habitat near mixed hardwood forest edge.Arundinaria tecta (Oman 1934)
Sanctanus sanctusAdults are 4.0-5.0 mm long. Whitish overall with a brownish band across the wings. The vertex is whitish with a couple small fuscous spots near the apex. The wings are whitish, with a cruciform-shaped brownish band that is bordered with black. The female pregenital sternite is slightly notched in the middle of the posterior margin. Male genital plates are long and slender; the apexes are blunt. (DeLong 1948)

For images of this species, see: BG.

Recorded from a couple counties in the Coastal Plain; rare.Brushy areasHerbaceous plants
Sanctanus fasciatusA boldly patterned species with dorsal markings that are usually light brown; the base color to the wings and body is a pale brown. The bold markings are primarily on the wings, with the thorax and head largely unpatterned except for some smudgy marks; there is a brown cruciate transverse band across the wings, bordered with black and white. The face has two distinct transverse black bands, and the legs are also banded; the vertex is bluntly rounded. The pronotum has a dark spot behind each eye on the anterior margin, and there are dark marks in the anterior corners of the otherwise pale scutellum. The male subgenital plates are broader than they are long, with rounded apexes. The female pregenital sternite has the posterior margin concavely excavated. Adults are 4.0-4.5 mm long. (Oman 1934), (DeLong & Hershberger 1946)Rare, a couple records from the coast, likely more abundant in this region.Recorded from a pine dominated forest near a saltwater marsh. ?
Sanctanus cruciatusA distinctively marked leafhopper with a broad, bluntly rounded vertex. The wings are mostly colored with large brownish patches outlined in black, on top of a white background; there is a small yellowish patch on the bottom middle of the wing. The head is mostly white while the pronotum has two large transverse brownish "bricks"; the scutellum has several small black marks. The face has two black transverse bands. The legs are bicolored with black bases and the rest pale. The male subgenital plates are broad at the base, convexly rounding to blunt apexes. The female pregenital sternite has the posterior margin concavely, roundedly produced, forming a broad median tooth. Adults are 4.5-5.25 mm long (Oman 1934), (DeLong & Hershberger 1946)Recorded from several counties in the Piedmont and coastal plain; probably more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found in grassy areas and mixed hardwood forest edge.
Extrusanus extrususA brownish leafhopper with a plump appearance and an abdomen that extends past the wings. Wing cells may be light to dark brown in color, and the face is dark brown. Females have a deeply excavated pregenital sternite, visible on the underside before the tip of the abdomen. The abdomen extends well past the end of the wings. Males have a sword-shaped pygofer processes, almost resembling a pair of blades, sticking out of the rear end of the abdomen (an abdomen that does not extend as far past the wings as in the female) (BG).This species has only been recorded from a few counties in the mountains, though probably more abundant in the right habitat in this region.Found in the grassy understory of forests (BG), as well as bushy, vegetated montane meadows and roadsides.Various grasses
Pagaronia minorA very striking, distinctive dark green leafhopper; nothing else resembles it. The body is a much darker green than the wings, which are yellowish-green. There are three black dots on the top of the head and the eyes are a contrasting yellow, characteristic of this species. Adults are 7.0-8.0 mm long, and nymphs are a greenish to white with a pointed head that is bordered in yellowish-green.Only recorded so far from Avery county in the mountains, likely a very recent arrival; this species will probably become more abundant in the state (at least the mountains) as it expands its range.Has been recorded from grassy, brushy habitat.Numerous shrubby plants
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Negosiana unidentified speciesThis page serves as a placeholder for individuals that are possibly members of the genus Negosiana (which has improperly been treated as part of Prairiana for some time by certain sources). Until specimens are collected and identified, individuals that look like this (brown with dark brown to black mottling on the wings) will be placed here.Recorded from a few counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.