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

Melanoliarus placitus - No Common Name



© Kyle Kittelberger

© Kyle Kittelberger

© Kyle Kittelberger

© Kyle Kittelberger
Taxonomy
Family: CIXIIDAE
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: This species has a dark face, head, and thorax, ranging from fuscous to fuscocastaneous/castaneous; the carinae of the mesonotum are concolorous in most specimens but orange in others. The wings are variable in degree of spotting, with some specimens largely immaculate and others heavily spotted. The costal cell tends to have three weakly developed spots. In some specimens, the inner margin of the wings is black along the commissure, sometimes with dark spots giving an overall "key-like" appearance. The wing venation ranges from stramineous (yellowish) to brownish, with most specimens having fairly pale veins. The stigma on each wing is a bold dark brown to black. The legs are pale yellowish-brown. Adult males are typically 6.1 to 8.8 mm long, with females ranging as high as 10.7 mm. (Mead & Kramer, 1982)

For more images, see here for probable images of live adults, and here and here and here for various angles of pinned specimens.

Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: Eastern and central United States and Ontario (UDEL)
Abundance: Scattered records across the state, uncommon.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found in maritime shrub; also reported from woodland and pine flatwoods. (Mead & Kramer, 1982)
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." (UDEL)
Behavior: Positively phototropic, it can easily be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: This may be the most difficult genus of planthoppers, perhaps even hoppers to identify in North Carolina. A specimen is most likely necessary for most species (except. M. humilis). In the case of M. placitus, Mead & Kramer (1982) note that it is most likely to be confused with M. placitus, but can be readily separated by the male terminalia (apical segments of the abdomen) and genitalic processes (see Mead & Kramer, 1982).

Mead & Kramer note that M. placitus is likely an univoltine (single-brood) species.

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Melanoliarus placitus No Common Name

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Gates Co.
Comment: specimen collected by B. Bockhahn
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Gates Co.
Comment: specimen collected by B. Bockhahn; 10.7 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Gates Co.
Comment: specimen collected by B. Bockhahn; 9.07 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Gates Co.
Comment: specimen collected by B. Bockhahn; 9.07 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Carteret Co.
Comment: maritime shrub; collected by Bo Sullivan
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Carteret Co.
Comment: maritime shrub; collected by Bo Sullivan
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Carteret Co.
Comment: maritime shrub; collected by Bo Sullivan
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Carteret Co.
Comment: maritime shrub; collected by Bo Sullivan
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Carteret Co.
Comment: maritime shrub; collected by Bo Sullivan
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Carteret Co.
Comment: maritime shrub; collected by Bo Sullivan, 7.1 mm