Hoppers of North Carolina:
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CICADELLIDAE Members: NC Records

Alebra aurea - No Common Name

© Ken Childs- note short head and color

© Rob Van Epps- male, note yellow
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: Typhlocybinae
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: Males are a vibrant yellow to golden-yellow color, paler towards the wing tips and unmarked. Females are yellow to orange-yellow, rarely colored like the male. The head is broader across the eyes than the combined length of the head and pronotum, with the eyes longer than the pronotum behind the eyes. The lateral margins of the pronotum are strongly divergent, and the wings/tegmina are at least four times as long as wide. Adult males are 3.3-4.2 mm long, while females are 3.4-4.5 mm. (Hamilton, 1995)
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: Eastern North America and Canada, west into the Midwest and Southwest (Dmitriev)
Abundance: Uncommon with scattered records across the state, primarily from the mountains and Piedmont; likely more abundant in the right habitat.
Seasonal Occurrence
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found near mixed to open hardwood forest habitat.
Plant Associates: Primarily oaks (all Quercus spp.), but recorded from many other species including: hickory and pecan (Carya spp.), beech (Fagus grandifolia), hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) and hawthorn (Crataegus spp.). Also recorded in small numbers from Acer, Asimia, Carpinus, Castanea, Cercis, Corylus, Ulmus and Vitis spp. (Hamilton, 1995)
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: NOTE: This can be a very challenging genus to identify for specimens that are yellow or yellow and white. There are very slight differences in the length/width of the eyes, head, and/or pronotum between species, differences that likely cannot be reliably determined from most photographs. Color and pattern wise, A. aurea is very similar to A. thoracica, a northerly Alebra that has yet to be recorded in North Carolina but could potentially occur in the mountains. Records on this page will therefore, by default, be identified as Alebra aurea until proven otherwise.

In his 1995 paper, Hamilton noted that this common and widespread species may actually be a complex of species, as local populations differ and there are forms associated with particular host plants. For example, females on Crataegus are usually as bright orange-yellow as males, and males on Fagus can have tegmina as pallid as in females, with the yellow color just confined to the margins.

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Alebra aurea No Common Name

Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light and stayed throughout the day.
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light and stayed throughout the day.
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light and stayed throughout the day.
Photo by: Harry Wilson
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood and pine habitat, found on Quercus nigra, Water Oak
Photo by: Randy L Emmitt
Orange Co.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Came to UV light in back yard.
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf, Brian Bockhahn
Ashe Co.
Comment: Dr. Hamilton's comments, "Probably A. thoracica, but to be sure one needs to make careful measurements of the proportions of head and thorax in exact dorsal aspect".