Hoppers of North Carolina:
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Hymetta balteata - No Common Name



© Ken Childs- nominate form

© Kyle Kittelberger- var. 'mediana'

© Ken Childs- var. 'mediana'

© Ken Childs- var. 'albata'
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: Typhlocybinae
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A boldly patterned species that can vary in darkness, coloration, and pattern. Adults have a pale yellowish-white body; the head and pronotum are largely a pale white color, sometimes with dull sanguineous spots present. The wings have a whitish base color, with three crossbands (see comments section below for crossband info). The first crossband is at most slightly narrowed along the costal margin; its posterior margin projects toward the wing tips, extending outwards past the dark spot near the claval suture of each wing. Crossband 3, the oblique dark band, is typically distinct. There is a transverse band at the apex of the wings (between crossband 3) that is at most indistinct; usually it is not present. There are three forms in this species.

- In the first, nominate form, the oblique band (crossband #3) at the tip of the wing is either not present or indistinct. The first crossband is dusky to black in color, darker near the costal margins. Crossband 2 is not present at all. There are relatively few red dots and flecks scattered across the wings.

- In form 'mediana' crossband #1 is a dark, dull red color (though in a number of individuals it appears as a faded brown). Crossband #2 is somewhat defined but not necessarily bold; it is orange to red in color. Crossband #3 is dusky to black in color. There are many dots scattered across the wings, including before crossband one and across the rest of the wing between crossband 1 and 2; there are also dots over the white costal plague.

- Form 'albata' is pale. Crossband #1 appears as a pale brown color; it is faint. There is no crossband #2, and crossband #3 ranges from smoky to a faded dusky color (but probably darker than the first band). This form was initially described as a form of H. trifasciata, which is probably the reason why this form has a strongly narrowed crossband #1 at the costal margin.

Adults are 3.1-3.4 mm long. Nymphs are a dark gray overall. For more pics of this species, see: BG. (Fairbairn, 1928)

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: Central and eastern United States (3I)
Abundance: Recorded from across the state, with most records from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain where it can be common; likely more abundant across the state in the right habitat.
Seasonal Occurrence
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found in mixed hardwood forest and forest edge.
Plant Associates: Vitis spp., Toxicodendron radicans, Cercis canadensis, Hamamelis sp. (3I)
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: Hymetta can be a challenging genus to identify. There are a number of forms for species and a lot of variation therefore in color and pattern, causing some individuals to look like other species. It is helpful to understand Hymetta wing patterning when trying to distinguish between species. There are three crossbands on the wing. Crossband #1 is located past the apex of the scutellum, across the base of the wings; this crossband often has an arched median section. Crossband #2 is a less distinct, dusky to reddish transverse wavy broken band that crosses the wing before the crossveins of the apical cells; this crossband is not present in all species. Crossband #3 is a dusky to blackish oblique (diagonal) band across the apical cells, forming an upside-down "V" when viewed from above. Three Hymetta species have been recorded in North Carolina: anthisma, balteata, and trifasciata.

H. balteata could be confused with H. trifasciata. Both species have a bold, dark crossband #3. However, there are several key differences that can be used to separate the two species.

- trifasciata tends to be on average smaller than other Hymettas; overall small size is an indication that an individual could be trifasciata.

- trifasciata tends to have relatively few reddish flecks and dots on the clavus and corium [parts of the wings] compared to some balteata; the speckling also tends to be paler. The base of the wing, between the first crossband and the thorax, is unspotted with sometimes only several spots along the fissure (inside margin of the wings). Heavily spotted individuals that have spots across this base region of the wing are likely to be balteata.

- in trifasciata, the first crossband on the wing is strongly narrowed on the costal margin, enlarging further into the wing. In balteata (except var. 'albata'), the crossband is at most slightly narrowed at the costal margin, often times not narrowed at all. Additionally, the overall shape of the band differs. In balteata, there tends to be a sharp triangular projection on the anterior margin of the band, lacking in trifasciata. Additionally, in trifasciata the band tends to be relatively straight or slightly downcurving towards the interior raised section of the band, resulting in a stronger difference in 'height' between the two sections of this band.

- in trifasciata, crossband #2 is clearer and more defined, and therefore darker than in other species. There is a noticeable broken band on trifasciata which is lacking in balteata.

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H. balteata could also be confused with H. anthisma. The nominate form of balteata resembles form 'distincta' of H. anthisma, as both have a similar color pattern, especially with the lack of crossband #2 and relatively low reddish wing speckling. However, the best way to distinguish the two is by looking at crossband #1. In balteata, the posterior margin of crossband 1 projects toward the rear of the wings, noticeably extending past the black spot on the claval suture of each wing. In anthisma var. 'distincta', the posterior margin of the crossband extends essentially straight across the wing from the costal margin to the black dot; it does not project past the black spot.

- Form 'mediana' of balteata also resembles the nominate form of H. anthisma. In anthisma, crossband #1 is a brilliant red and crossband #3 is more smoky than black; in 'mediana' crossband #1 is a dark red to faded brown, and crossband #3 is dusky to black. Additionally, 'mediana' is supposed to have darker red dots than anthisma. However, anthisma has larger, brighter red, and more numerous spots; in some individuals, the speckling can be quite dense.

(Fairbairn, 1928)

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Hymetta balteata No Common Name

Photo by: R Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: var. mediana
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf, Patrick Coin
Halifax Co.
Comment: grassy area and mixed hardwood forest edge near pine forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf, Patrick Coin
Halifax Co.
Comment: grassy area and mixed hardwood forest edge near pine forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy habitat and mixed hardwood forest edge var. mediana
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light . Stayed entire night on sheet var. mediana
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light . Stayed entire night on sheet var. mediana
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light . Stayed entire night on sheet var. mediana
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light . Averaged 2-4 per night 1-5 May 2014
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light . Averaged 2-4 per night 1-10 May 2014
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Amanda Auxier
Pender Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment: var. albata
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment: var. mediana
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Randy L Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: uv lights, tiny thing! - unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Came to UV light in back yard.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Came to UV light in back yard.