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

Xyphon flaviceps - Yellow-headed Leafhopper

© Kyle Kittelberger- side view

© Kyle Kittelberger

© Kyle Kittelberger- note head pattern

© Kyle Kittelberger- note reticulated wing tips
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: CicadellinaeTribe: Cicadellini
Taxonomic Author: (Riley, C.V., 1880)
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A medium-sized greenish species with a prominent orange head (even though flaviceps means yellow-headed) with two large black ocelli. The head and pronotum lack dark markings (outside of the ocelli), and the face is yellowish with white mottling on the edge of the crown. The pronotum and scutellum are greenish. The wings are mostly green with contrasting pale wing venation; the wing tips are densely reticulated, giving the appearance of a meshwork of cells. Eyes are greenish to blue in color, and the underside of the abdomen is mostly yellow. A medium-sized species, with adult males 4.5-5.0 mm long and females 5.0-6.3 mm. (Catanach 2013)
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: Found primarily in the Southeastern and Southern United States, from Virginia west to New Mexico and south into Mexico (Catanach 2013)
Abundance: Recorded across the state, with a majority of records coming from the Coastal Plain and Piedmont. Probably more abundant in grassy habitats.
Seasonal Occurrence
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Recorded in grassy, field-type or prairie-grass habitat; also mixed forest edge.
Plant Associates: cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), alfalfa (Medicago sp.), beebalm (Monarda sp.), prickly Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), miscellaneous flowers/weeds, Digitaria sp., Fragaria sp. (Catanach 2013)
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Xyphon flaviceps Yellow-headed Leafhopper

Photo by: Mark Shields
Onslow Co.
Photo by: Amanda Auxier
Pender Co.
Comment: Attracted to white CFL porch light.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy/grassy open area. Caught sweeping.
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Washington Co.
Comment: open forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Washington Co.
Comment: open forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest edge/field or prairie grass habitat, near stream
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy habitat