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

Graphocephala fennahi - Rhododendron Leafhopper



© Kyle Kittelberger- green, typical form

© Kyle Kittelberger- note difference in stripe
widths

© Kyle Kittelberger- blue form

© Paul Scharf- nymph
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: Cicadellinae
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A medium-sized member of this genus, with males 7.3-8.6 mm long and females slightly larger at 8.2-9.0 mm (some individuals can be larger). Forewings are variable, being typically green with red to orange bands; some individuals can have the green replace by a pale blue color. Red bands are usually unequal in width, with the back band sometimes faint or incomplete (an important characteristic in individuals where this is present), and there are only two bands (unlike other similarly patterned species that can have three). However, the width of the bands can vary and some individuals can have somewhat even bands that are a bold red color. In addition, there are prominent, clearly scalloped black spots around the wing tip; this can be a helpful distinguishing characteristic. The top of the head is yellow, as are the legs and underside of the body (BG). Nymphs are whitish to yellow in color but have the distinctive, pointed head shape of this genus.
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: A species native to the mountains of southern Virgina, the western Carolinas, and northern Georgia. It was apparently carried in the 1920s on ornamental rhododendrons to NY, PA, w. US, and Europe (UK); this species is liable to turn up anywhere throughout the U.S. and southern Canada (BG).
Abundance: This species has been recorded primarily from the Mountains, where it is common, and several counties in the Piedmont. Probably more abundant, especially in the mountains, in the right habitat and where Rhododendron occurs, but likely to turn up anywhere in the mountains and Piedmont, perhaps not as likely in most of the Coastal Plain.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
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Mar
Apr
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been recorded in the state in grassy, brushy habitat near forest edge, as well as in mixed hardwood forest itself; most likely present where rhododendron occurs.
Plant Associates: Rhododendrons and azaleas
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a black light. Eggs are laid in flower buds on host plant (Hamilton 1985).
Comment: The blue form is rare in this species. This species can be challenging to distinguish from G. teliformis. In some situations an ID may not be possible, even with a measurement and the sex of an individual, and at other times an ID could be a best guess for specimens with bold, equally wide red bands.
Status: Native

Species Photo Gallery for Graphocephala fennahi Rhododendron Leafhopper

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Ashe Co.
Comment: brushy, vegetated habitat
Photo by: Paul Scharf, Kyle Kittleberger, Brian Bockhahn
Ashe Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Randy Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: uv lights, will try to get a specimen.
Photo by: Randy Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: uv lights, will try to get a specimen.
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Nymph on Host Plant
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Surry Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy habitat near forest edge
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Surry Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy habitat near forest edge
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Surry Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy habitat near forest edge
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; male, 7.7 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; male, 7.7 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; male, 7.7 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: male, 7.7 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: male, 7.7 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: male, 7.7 mm
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Yancey Co.
Comment: 8.2 mm, forest edge with many Rhododendron maximum nearby
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Yancey Co.
Comment: 8.2 mm, forest edge with many Rhododendron maximum nearby