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

Graphocephala hieroglyphica - No Common Name



© Kyle Kittelberger- reddish-pink form

© Kyle Kittelberger- note head markings

© Rob Van Epps- grayish-green form

© Rob Van Epps- var. dolobrata
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: CicadellinaeSynonym: Neokolla hieroglyphica hieroglyphica, Tettigonia hieroglyphica
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A variable species, ranging in color from grayish-green or light blue to reddish-pink. The body and wings tend to be concolorous, and the wing venation is typically blackish though it can be reddish and appear as if the red color is bleeding into the wing cells. There are bold black lines on the wings, and black markings on the corners of an otherwise yellowish scutellum. The head and pronotum are concolorous with the base wing color but have black markings. The head has complex, bold, black and symmetrical markings on either side of a pale, unmarked midline; these markings are characteristic of this species. The female pregenital sternite has a truncated, convex triangular projection and is more than twice as long as the preceding sternite; it extends outwards. Male subgenital plates are long and triangular. Adults are 6.0-7.0 mm long. (Delong 1960)

A distinctive color form, var. dolobrata, is a very dark blue to blackish color with scattered pale markings. The extent of dark coloration can vary among individuals, with the head pattern characteristic of this species easy to discern in some specimens, while in others the head can appear more or less a solid bluish-black color with a pale midline. The clavus of the wings tends to appear as a bold, thick pale yellowish to white line that contrasts with the rest of the wing color; the costal margin can also be pale. The scutellum is similarly colored to other color forms of this species. Adult males are 5.5-5.7 mm long, while females are 6.0-6.4 mm. (Nielson, 1968)

The nymphs of this species are fairly similar to those of G. gothica; location can probably distinguish species for now, and it appears that the nymphs of gothica have darker-brown sides of the body.

Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: G. hieroglyphica: fairly widespread throughout the southern, central and western United States, previously occurring as far east as the Mississippi River valley region in Arkansas (Delong 1960); the records here apparently represent a range expansion for this species.

Var. dolobrata: Southern United States, from the Mississippi River west into the Southwestern United States and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains (Delong 1960). The records here largely represent the first in the Southeast, east of the Mississippi River valley.

Abundance: Uncommon to rare; only recorded from a few counties in the Piedmont.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found in grassy, field-like habitat as well as wet depressions.
Plant Associates: G. hieroglyphica: Willow (Salix sp.) (DeLong 1948)

Var. dolobrata: Willow (Salix longifolia, S. amygdaloides) and poplar (Populus monilfera); has also been found on broadleaf milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) (Nielson, 1968)

Behavior: This species has been known to overwinter in ground litter, congregating in early spring (February) on the stems of willow to feed. Mating has been reported to take place in April, with eggs laid in the upper epidermis of willow and poplar leaves. Nymphs mold five times and take about two months to become adults. There are two generations of this species each years, with the second generation feeding on ragweed and goldenrod. Overwintering individuals were reddish whereas the summer generation was grayish in females and blackish in males. (Nielson, 1968)
Comment: G. hieroglyphica and G. gothica are somewhat of a taxonomic mess and can be quite confusing: while many experts treat these two species as belonging in Graphocephala, some place them in the genus Neokolla. Both species were initially described as Tettigonia gothica and T. hieroglyphica. When they were elevated to Neokolla, both were synonymized under Neokolla hieroglyphica (in particular, T. gothica was N. h. atra and T. hieroglyphica was N. h. hieroglyphica). Young (1977), who revised Cicadellini comprehensively, treated Neokolla as a junior synonym of Graphocephala, something that has been followed by other leafhopper workers. Neokolla was later resurrected in a paper based on an interpretation of Say’s original description of the type species of Neokolla (hieroglyphica Say) that was contrary to those of prior authors (plus, Say’s description could apply to either hieroglyphica or gothica, as evident by both being placed under the same species within Neokolla). Neokolla species in general are quite variable in coloration, with some of these colors getting named forms, which some have then elevated to species status. As a result of this taxonomic disagreement, Graphocephala gothica is what some are currently calling Neokolla hieroglyphica, and Graphocephala hieroglyphica appears to be what some are calling Neokolla uhleri (though uhleri, considered for some time as a variety of hieroglyphica, was depicted in older literature as having quite different head markings). And to make matters more complicated, distinctive color form Graphocephala hieroglyphica var. dolobrata is what some have been calling a separate species, Neokolla (or Keonolla) dolobrata.

For now we will go with what takes precedence, following Young, but as you can see this taxonomic reshuffling has resulted in quite a bit of confusion and complexity.

G. hieroglyphica var. dolobrata is an important vector of Pierce's disease virus on grape in California. Freitag et al. reported a 50% efficiency in transmitting the virus from diseased grape to healthy grape, and an 11% efficiency in transmitting the virus from diseased alfalfa to healthy alfalfa. (Nielson, 1968)

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Graphocephala hieroglyphica No Common Name

Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy/grassy open area. Pale form.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy/grassy open area. Pale form.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy/grassy open area. Pale form.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy/grassy open area. Caught sweeping. Pale form.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy/grassy open area. Caught sweeping. Pale form.
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.2mm
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.2mm
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.6mm, collected during sweep in a permanently wet depression with diverse vegetation
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.6mm, collected during sweep in a permanently wet depression with diverse vegetation
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 6.1 mm, collected during sweep in a permanently wet depression with diverse vegetation; identified by C. Dietrich via specimen as Graphocephala sp. probably hieroglyphica (Say) [female...]; white background pics taken by K. Kittelberger
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 6.1 mm, collected during sweep in a permanently wet depression with diverse vegetation; identified by C. Dietrich via specimen as Graphocephala sp. probably hieroglyphica (Say) [female...]; white background pics taken by K. Kittelberger
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 6.1 mm, collected during sweep in a permanently wet depression with diverse vegetation; identified by C. Dietrich via specimen as Graphocephala sp. probably hieroglyphica (Say) [female...]; white background pics taken by K. Kittelberger
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 6.1 mm, collected during sweep in a permanently wet depression with diverse vegetation; identified by C. Dietrich via specimen as Graphocephala sp. probably hieroglyphica (Say) [female...]; white background pics taken by K. Kittelberger
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy/grassy open area. Caught sweeping.
Photo by: Kaiying Chen
Wake Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 4.5 mm, weedy vegetation
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Iredell Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping in weedy field.
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.6 mm male, collected during a sweep through low vegetation in a wet retention area / depression in the middle of a school athletic field
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.6 mm male, collected during a sweep through low vegetation in a wet retention area / depression in the middle of a school athletic field
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 5.6 mm male, collected during a sweep through low vegetation in a wet retention area / depression in the middle of a school athletic field
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Dark form. Aka Neokolla dolobrata on BugGuide and inatuaralist. Caught sweeping in grassy field.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Dark form. Aka Neokolla dolobrata on BugGuide and inatuaralist. Caught sweeping in grassy field.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Dark form. Aka Neokolla dolobrata on BugGuide and inatuaralist. Caught sweeping in grassy field.