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

Draeculacephala robinsoni - No Common Name



© Kyle Kittelberger- male, note blackish face

© Kyle Kittelberger- male; note
bold blue pigmentation

© Kyle Kittelberger- female; note pale face

© Kyle Kittelberger- female
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: Cicadellinae
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A greenish species with blue pigmentation on the pronotum and wings; the wing ventation and pronotal lines (when present) are noticeably bluish rather than white. The male abdomen is usually mostly dark brown ventrally, and male crowns are shorter than or subequal in length to the pronotum. Female crowns are noticeably longer (longer than most other Draeculacephalas). Abdominal sterna color is extremely variable, as is the color of the underside of the thorax and face, typically entirely brown with various amounts of yellow; ranges from yellowish or yellowish-brown to blackish. Males are much darker ventrally than females, sometimes blackish underneath. Males range in size from 6.5-8.2 mm, while females are 8.0-10.5 mm. (Dietrich 1994), (Hamilton 1985)
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: Canada and United States east of the Rocky Mountains; extremely widespread
Abundance: A common and widespread species in the state; perhaps the most numerous species in this genus in NC.
Seasonal Occurrence
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: In corn fields it occurs in enormous numbers, but also found in grassy, field-type habitats, brush, and mixed-hardwood to open forest habitats.
Plant Associates: Maize, broomsedge, other plants
Behavior: Can be attracted to a black light.
Comment:

This species here includes what was formerly known as the Sharp-headed Sharpshooter (D. zeae). Dietrich noted that "the genitalia and abdominal apodemes are variable in shape, as is the coloration, even within a single local population. The characters used to separate them are at opposite ends of the range of variation and don’t seem to hold up too well if you compare hundreds of specimens across the entire geographic range. I synonymized these two species so zeae is a junior synonym of robinsoni" (C. Dietrich, pers. comments).

D. robinsoni is one of several Draeculacephala that occur in North Carolina that can be quite challenging to distinguish from each other. It is very important to make sure that detailed, clear photos are taken for many of these challenging species, showing side profile and underside shots (to determine sex). Obtaining a measurement of the specimen can also be very crucial. Below are some features that can help distinguish the challenging Draeculacephalas from one another.

antica- pale underside, face can be a little dark; forewing veins whitish. Male (6.1 or 6.3-7.7 mm), Female (6.0, 7.3-8.6 mm); head edged with bold black line; head slightly downcurved; dark brown markings on the mesosterna just behind the front coxae- these are absent in constricta, which is otherwise very similar

bradleyi- females and male have a black face, venter is pale brownish (lighter in males, darker in females). Male (less than 6.6 mm), Female (less than 8.0 mm)

constricta- lacks blue pigment on wing veins and pronotum, yellow face and venter; black line edging on side of head not as bold as antica. Male (less than 6.6mm), Female (less than 8.0 mm)

mollipes- yellow face, yellow venter; black line edging not as bold as antica. Blue pigment on some veins and usually on pronotal lines; resembles a smaller version of robinsoni. Male (less than 6.6 mm), Female (less than 8.0 mm)

portola- resembles robinsoni, but has inflated face profile; larger than most robinsoni, male (~8.1 mm), female (9.9-10.6 mm) but lacks the blue pigmentation on veins and pronotum that robinsoni has; strictly coastal, rare

robinsoni- blue pigmentation on the pronotum and forewing venation; male abdomen usually mostly dark brown ventrally; male with crown shorter than or subequal in length to pronotum, female crown noticeably longer; abdominal sterna color extremely variable, typically entirely brown with various amounts of yellow; ranges from yellowish or yellowish-brown to blackish. Males much darker ventrally than females, sometimes blackish underneath. Males (6.5-8.2 mm) Females (8.0-10.5 mm)

Status: Native

Species Photo Gallery for Draeculacephala robinsoni No Common Name

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest; a southern form of a northern species, possibly a cryptic species
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: tall grassy habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: tall grassy habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: tall grassy habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: Found in grassy field/forest edge habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: Found in grassy field/forest edge habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: Found in grassy field/forest edge habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: Found in grassy field/forest edge habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: Found in grassy field/forest edge habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: Found in grassy field/forest edge habitat
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to UV Light
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to UV Light
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: male, 7.2 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: male, 7.2 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: male, 7.2 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: female; 9.0 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: female; 9.0 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: female; 9.0 mm
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 8.6mm, captured during sweep through overgrown retention area in middle of athletic field
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 8.6mm, captured during sweep through overgrown retention area in middle of athletic field
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 8.6mm, captured during sweep through overgrown retention area in middle of athletic field
Photo by: Amanda Auxier
Pender Co.
Comment: Came to white CFL porch light.
Photo by: Amanda Auxier
Pender Co.
Comment: Came to white CFL porch light.