Hoppers of North Carolina:
Spittlebugs, Leafhoppers, Treehoppers, and Planthoppers
Scientific Name: Search Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
MEMBRACIDAE Members: NC Records

Platycotis vittata - Oak Treehopper



© Kyle Kittelberger- var. quadrivitatta

© Ken Childs- var. vittata

© Kyle Kittelberger- var. sagitatta

© Scott Hartley- nymphs
Taxonomy
Family: MEMBRACIDAESubfamily: Membracinae
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A distinctive looking treehopper with several forms that vary in color and the presence (or absence) of a pronotal horn. Form vittata lacks a pronotal horn and has a brown to brownish-green body with a mottled color pattern, with or without longitudinal lines. Form lineata also lacks a horn, but there are four longitudinal red lines on an otherwise bluish-white body. Form sagittata has a horn, and the pronotum may be brown to brownish-green with a mottled color pattern, with or without longitudinal lines. Finally, form quadrivitatta also is horned, but there are four longitudinal red lines on an otherwise bluish-white body. Nymphs are mostly black with red marks on the abdomen and yellowish lines across much of the segmented body sections. Nymphs also have red eyes and have several spikes rising from the thorax and may have a forward-facing black horn, depending on whether the nymphs will mature into horned or horn-less adults. Adults are 9-13 mm long. (UF)
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Out of State Record(s)
Distribution: Common throughout its range, occurring mainly from the United States south through Mexico to Brazil; recorded as far north on the West coast as Vancouver Island. (UF)
Abundance: A common species, recorded across the state. The seasonal distribution in the state is: 16 January-29 December (CTNC)
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Found in a variety of habitats, especially mixed hardwood forests where oaks are present.
Plant Associates: Betula sp., Castanea dentata, Fagus sp., Quercus alba, Q. falcata, Q. incana, Q. laevis, Q. margarettiae, Q. nigra, Q. palustris, Q. phellos, Q. rubra, Q. rubra var. ambigua, Q. stellata, Q. velutina, Q. virginiana (CTNC); also on Liriodendron tulipifera, Betula alleghaniensis, Q. imbricaria, and Platanus occidentalis (CTGSMNP), and on Q. prinus (chestnut oak).
Behavior: To listen to the male courtship call for this genus, listen here. These courtship calls are not audible to the human ear, and the calls here are produced by recording the substrate vibrations that the treehoppers use to communicate through the plants themselves. The recorded call is then amplified so that it is now audible to human ears. Research has shown that treehoppers use vibrations to attract mates, to announce the discovery of a good feeding site, or to alert a defending mother to the approach of a predator (T.IM) .
Comment: Can be attracted at night with a light. This species does not make much damage to the host plant, only leaving behind some twig scars from oviposition by the female
Status: Native

Species Photo Gallery for Platycotis vittata Oak Treehopper

Photo by: Scott Hartley
Moore Co.
Comment: nymphs - Weymouth Woods-SNP
Photo by: Scott Hartley
Moore Co.
Comment: nymphs and adults - Weymouth Woods-SNP
Photo by: Scott Hartley
Moore Co.
Comment: nymphs - Weymouth Woods-SNP
Photo by: Nancy Williams
Cumberland Co.
Comment: Carvers Creek State Park; var. lineata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; var. quadrivittata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Ashe Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; a dark, hornless individual; var. vittata
Photo by: L. Amos
Warren Co.
Comment: KELA
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted To Black Light; var. vittata
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted To Black Light; var. vittata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Gates Co.
Comment: grassy habitat on mixed hardwood forest edge; nymphs
Photo by: Britta Muiznieks
Dare Co.
Comment: var. quadrivittata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: near mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: near mixed hardwood forest habitat; var. lineata
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment: var. vittata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Watauga Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy area on mixed forest edge; on chestnut oak; var. lineata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Watauga Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy area on mixed forest edge; on chestnut oak; var. lineata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Watauga Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy area on mixed forest edge; var. sagitatta
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment: var. lineata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: nymphs and adults, 2 forms. Found on chestnut oak
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: nymphs and adults, 2 forms. Found on chestnut oak
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: nymphs and adults, 2 forms. Found on chestnut oak; var. quadrivittata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: nymphs and adults, 2 forms. Found on chestnut oak; var. lineata
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: nymphs and adults, 2 forms. Found on chestnut oak
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: nymphs and adults, 2 forms. Found on chestnut oak
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: var. sagitatta
Photo by: Roger Shaw
Wake Co.
Comment: Spotted on a car windshield, apologies for the poor phone photos! - unid_treehopper
Photo by: Mark Shields
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: tended by ants - unid_treehopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: tended by ants - unid_treehopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: tended by ants - unid_treehopper
Photo by: Randy L Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: stayed all night on the sheet.
Photo by: Randy L Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: stayed all night on the sheet.
Photo by: R Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: hangs around at the top of the moth sheet.
Photo by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Photo by: T. Nergart
Transylvania Co.
Comment: GORG
Photo by: T. DeSantis
Durham Co.
Comment: ENRI
Photo by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Photo by: R Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Randy L Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: uv light