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

Helochara communis - Bog Leafhopper



© Kyle Kittelberger- note pitted appearance

© Kyle Kittelberger- note plain green color

© Kyle Kittelberger- top view

© Kyle Kittelberger- side view
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: CicadellinaeTribe: Cicadellini
Taxonomic Author: (Fitch, 1851)
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A small, dark green leafhopper. The body and wings are covered with pits, and males have thickened tips to the antennae, forming a black diamond-shaped "club" (BG); both of these are traits characteristic of this genus. The underside of the abdomen, thorax, and head is mostly black, particularly in males. Males have shorter, blunter heads than females. Some individuals can appear very dark, and worn individuals can lose their green color. Males are 4.2-5.0 mm long, females are 4.9-6.0 mm. (Hamilton 1986) Nymphs are yellow overall with pointed heads.

This species could be most easily confused with Draeculacephala, but H. communis has a blunter head. In addition, H. communis is smaller than many Draeculacephala: click here for a good size comparison between H. communis and a Draeculacephala. H. communis also differs from Draeculacephala in being a [typically] uniform shade of green (Draeculacephala can have blue lines on the wings and thorax, and their wings have contrasting venation).

Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Out of State Record(s)
Distribution: A common northern species, recorded throughout the Northeast, across Canada, and far into the west; the only member of this genus found in the East (Hamilton 1986).
Abundance: Found in the mountains where it is locally abundant; probably found throughout this region.
Seasonal Occurrence
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Grassy, wet areas (such as river edges); also fields and brushy habitat
Plant Associates: Common on rushes, especially toad rush (Juncus bufonarius), as well as other Juncus, Carex and Sparganium spp. (Hamilton 1986)
Behavior: A univoltine species, adults are common from late July through May, with females sometimes lasting until mid-July. (Hamilton 1986)
Comment: The body size and head lengths of adults of this species vary geographically, with specimens from eastern North America slightly smaller than those from western North America. While male specimens from much of eastern North America lack acutely-angled heads (visible from dorsal view), specimens from the Smoky Mountains were found to consist of up to 50% acute-headed forms. (Hamilton 1986)
Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Helochara communis Bog Leafhopper

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Watauga Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy habitat near mixed hardwood forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Watauga Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy habitat near mixed hardwood forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy field
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy field
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy field