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

Xestocephalus superbus - No Common Name



© Kyle Kittelberger- side view, dark specimen

© Kyle Kittelberger- note small shape

© Kyle Kittelberger- top view

© Kyle Kittelberger- note pattern
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: Aphrodinae
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A fairly small, dark brown leafhopper with a wing pattern similar to other members of this genus, mottled with white spots. The vertex is brown with many small pale-yellow or white spots. However, the middle wing tip cell has a white spot on the edge, with a dark base (this contrasts with the similar X. similis) (BG). There is variation however among individuals, so color pattern can be different among different individuals. This species also has parallel pale lines along the midline of the head that end in curved, diverging lobes. Adults are typically in the range of 2.5-3.0 mm long.
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: A common northern species, it has been recorded across the country, with a majority of records coming from the northeast and midwest (Bugguide).
Abundance: Recorded recently from several counties in the Piedmont and coastal plain, but probably more numerous in the right habitat; where present, it appears to be locally common.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been recorded in mixed hardwood forest habitat; also swampy meadows and grassy areas (Chandler & Hamilton, 2017).
Plant Associates: Sedge, trumpetbush (Tecoma sp.), willow (Chandler & Hamilton, 2017)
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: An "ant guest", it lives as an immature in the tunnels of ant nests where it feeds on the roots of plants. Adults fly around a lot, looking for other ant nests (BG).

Under the latest revision of the genus by Cwikla 1985, many species were synonymized under X. desertorum. While the following species appear to be visually distinctive, there are no differences in the male or female genitalia from desertorum, hence being synonymized. This move has not been carried out here as it seems necessary for further studies done to determine the validity of species within this genus. For now, species here will be differentiated based on visual characteristics. It is important to note though that these 'species' may not be valid, and visual characteristics that have been used to differentiate may not in fact hold up due to variation between forms and/or species. Furthermore, somes records may represent similiar species that are not yet on this site; obviously there is much to learn and revise regarding this genus.

The species synonymized under desertorum that could occur in our area are as follows:

- brunneus

- nigrifrons (some of the dark specimens here under superbus may represent nigrifrons)

- pulicarius

- piceus

- provancheri

- similis

- superbus

Furthermore, there is an apparent undescribed species that looks similar to X. superbus, but has a differently marked and colored frons, head and pronotum. Recent DNA barcoding revealed specimens of this 'species' cluster separately from everything else.

- n-species

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Xestocephalus superbus No Common Name

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; an unusually dark specimen
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest; small individual, 2.6 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest; small individual, 2.6 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest; small individual, 2.6 mm long
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Light
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Light
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Light
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Hardwood forest, attracted to black light.
Photo by: R Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: female; 2.7 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: female; 2.7 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: female, 2.8 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: female, 2.8 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: female, 2.8 mm
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 2.5 mm
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 2.5 mm
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 2.7 mm, forest and beaver dam edge
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 2.7 mm, forest and beaver dam edge