Hoppers of North Carolina:
Spittlebugs, Leafhoppers, Treehoppers, and Planthoppers
Scientific Name: Search Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
CICADELLIDAE Members: NC Records

Homalodisca insolita - Johnsongrass Sharpshooter



© Kyle Kittelberger- side view

© Kyle Kittelberger- top view

© Kyle Kittelberger

© Kyle Kittelberger- nymph
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: CicadellinaeTribe: ProconiiniSynonym: Phera insolita
Taxonomic Author: (Walker, 1858)
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A large, slender leafhopper with a very distinct coloration. It has a mostly dark brown to black body with a large, bold yellowish to white band on the side of the abdomen. The head is speckled with small yellowish to whitish spots, and the eyes are bicolored. The legs can have red or yellow bases. The underside of the body is reddish in color. The female pregenital sternite has the caudal margin deeply and narrowly excavated. Adult males are 9.9-10.2 mm long, females are 10.8-11.0 mm. (Pollard, 1965)

The infrequently encountered nymph is pale overall, with a light green abdomen and tan thorax and head. Many stripes and dots run across the body, and the eyes are red with white dashes on the edges.

Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: A species found throughout the southern U.S., from Texas to the Southeast; ranges as far south as Panama (3i).
Abundance: Uncommon, has been recorded from a handful of counties in the mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain. Possibly more abundant in the state in the right habitat.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Recorded in the state in grassy, brushy habitats such as fields and power-line cuts.
Plant Associates: Digitaria sanguinalis (crab grass), Panicum dichotimoflorum (fall panicum), Panicum maximum (Guinea grass), Sorghum halepense (Johnsongrass), Prunus persica (peach), Citrus sinensis (orange) (3i). Also reported from Acanthus, Solanum elaeagnifolium (DL)

H. insolita is a vector of phony peach disease virus. (Pollard, 1965)

Behavior: This species is a bit of an outlier in the genus Homalodisca and stands apart from the rest of the group, having body features and a general appearance that more closely resemble some members of the genus Phera (with a minority of authors therefore choosing to treat insolita as a member of that genus, though that is outdated taxonomy).

Interestingly, this species was only known from Texas, Arizona, and Mexico prior to 1950. Since then is has spread eastward from Texas. (Pollard, 1965)

Comment:
Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Homalodisca insolita Johnsongrass Sharpshooter

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy, field-type habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy, field-type habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy, field-type habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy, field-type habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: brushy habitat near mixed hardwood forest; adult and nymph
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: brushy habitat near mixed hardwood forest; adult and nymph
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: brushy habitat near mixed hardwood forest; adult and nymph
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: brushy habitat near mixed hardwood forest; adult and nymph
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy area near a few trees.
Photo by: Randy L Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: The white bumps are a mystery to me? Or could it be another species not shown?
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: sweep through low vegetation
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: sweep through low vegetation
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: sweep of a grassy area within forest
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: sweep of a grassy area within forest