Hoppers of North Carolina:
Spittlebugs, Leafhoppers, Treehoppers, and Planthoppers
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CICADELLIDAE Members: NC Records

Paraphlepsius irroratus - Bespeckled Leafhopper

© Kyle Kittelberger- side view; note long &
slender appearance

© Kyle Kittelberger- top view

© Kyle Kittelberger- female (L) & male (R)
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: Deltocephalinae
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A slender, highly mottled leafhopper; the slenderness can help separate this species from most others in this genus. The wings, thorax, and head are densely reticulated, and this species is usually dark in color overall. Both the male and female have distinctive abdomen tips- the male's subgenital plates have concave lateral margins and finger-like, elongate tips. The female pregenital sternite is tridentate (3 sharp spines at the base of the ovipositor) with an M-shaped excavation. Males are 5.0-5.8 mm long, while females are 5.8-6.7 mm. (Hamilton 1975)

For diagrams of this species, see: Dmitriev. For additional images of this species, see: BG.

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: An extremely common and widespread species in Eastern North America, ranging south of the boreal forest and west to the edge of the Rocky Mountains and Southwestern region. (Hamilton 1975)
Abundance: A common species, recorded across the state in all three regions.
Seasonal Occurrence
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Mixed hardwood forest, forest edge, open woodlands, grassy areas, etc.
Plant Associates: Glycine max, Medicago, etc. Has also been found feeding on apple, clover, sugar beets, legumes, cotton, wheat, rose, and cherry trees (Hamilton 1975). For a list of more plants this species has been collected from, see: DL.
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: The most common member of this genus, and the one most frequently encountered.

NOTE: Paraphlepsius is a challenging genus to identify, with a majority of the species requiring underside views of the pregenital sternite or male subgenital plates to allow for an identification; even then, an ID may not be possible. It is important to obtain clear, detailed images of the underside; length measurements can help as well.

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Paraphlepsius irroratus Bespeckled Leafhopper

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Surry Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy habitat near forest edge
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Caught Sweeping
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: NCSU specimens
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: NCSU specimens
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.7 mm male
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.7 mm male