Hoppers of North Carolina:
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CIXIIDAE Members: NC Records

Cixius nervosus - No Common Name



© Kyle Kittelberger- note pattern

© Kyle Kittelberger

© Kyle Kittelberger

© Kyle Kittelberger- note pale clypeus
Taxonomy
Family: CIXIIDAE
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A brownish to dark gray species with two uneven somewhat dark bands that transverse the wings. These bands are located at the base of the wings and near the tip; the color and pattern of the wings can vary among individuals. Males of this species have a distinctive tail, with elongate processes on segment 10 (the anal tube), which can be seen with a hand lens and without dissection. Adults tend to have the clypeus (lower part of face) paler than the frons (upper part of face); this is a key characteristic. The base color of the head and thorax are typically tawny, and the pronotum is often entirely pale. Males also have a characteristic hook projection on the anal tube of the genitalia. Adult males are 5.5-7.1 mm long, while females are 6.5-8.0 mm. (Kramer 1981)
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: Possibly the most common Cixius in Eastern North America and perhaps even North America, found throughout the United States and Canada. This species is also widespread in the Old World, found across Europe, western Asia, Russia and Northern Africa (UDEL)
Abundance: Very common in the mountains, possibly more abundant in the right habitat.
Seasonal Occurrence
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found in open grassy areas near mixed hardwood forest.
Plant Associates: "Nymphs of cixiids are subterranean, feeding on roots and possibly fungi. The significance of adult host records is unclear. Many cixiids are presumed to be polyphagous (as adults), most often on woody plants." Adults are polyphagous on woody plants, including: Salix (willow, Salicaceae), Alnus, Betula, Corylus, Tilia (basswood, Tiliaceae), Abies balsamea (balsam fir, Pinaceae), Picea mariana (black spruce, Pinaceae)
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: This species can be confused with C. pini. It is especially important to obtain a view of the underside, as the frons color can differentiate these two species: in pini, the face is typically entirely black, whereas in nervosus the face ranges from having a contrastingly pale clypeus to being entirely light in color. Additionally, males of nervosus have a characteristic hook projection on the anal tube that is easily seen without dissection (C. Bartlett pers. comment).

Some sources list the eastern population of this species, east of the Rocky Mountains, as C. basalis. Charles Bartlett notes that "Cixius nervosus is the senior synonym of Cixius basalis, which is currently not a valid name (and remains so until published otherwise). Superficially it looks similar to pini and coloepeum- in size and color. You might be able to find differences in pattern of coloration among these species, but I have been unable to find anything that I consistently believe outside of what is listed above. In specimens (as opposed to photos) I can separate nervosus consistently based on the tail (for males), and the bicolored front. I have tried hard to find a consistent difference between pini and coloepeum - I think there must be - but I have always dissected to be sure" (pers. comment). Cixius can be very difficult to ID and therefore a species identification may not be possible for some individuals.

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Cixius nervosus No Common Name

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy, open area with shrubby vegetation and mixed forest nearby
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy, open area with shrubby vegetation and mixed forest nearby; male
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy, open area with shrubby vegetation and mixed forest nearby
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: open area near mixed hardwood forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: open area near mixed hardwood forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Ashe Co.
Comment: collected by Bo Sullivan; male,
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Ashe Co.
Comment: collected by Bo Sullivan; male, 7.1 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Ashe Co.
Comment: collected by Bo Sullivan; male,
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Ashe Co.
Comment: collected by Bo Sullivan; male, 7.1 mm