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

Metcalfa pruinosa - Citrus Flatid Planthopper



© Kyle Kittelberger

© Kyle Kittelberger

© Ken Childs
Taxonomy
Family: FLATIDAESubfamily: Flatinae
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: The color of adult Metcalfa pruinosa varies considerably from brown to gray to partially dark blue, due chiefly to the presence or absence of a bluish white waxy powder coating the wings. A characteristic pair of dark spots is located in the basal half of each forewing, and there can be small pale spots across the rest of the wings. The eyes and legs are orange colored. Adults are usually 5.5 to 8 mm in length. Nymphs are less than twice as long as wide, and vary in size depending upon the growth stage . A mature nymph is approximately 4 mm long, not counting waxy filaments which break easily, and are white. Nymphs have a flat shape and can produce an extremely large amount of waxy filaments. Nymphs are pale in coloration, often appearing whitish, and have noticeable patches with pits, close to the head and on the thorax. In some individuals, there are dark spots present on the wing pads, reminiscent of the dark spots on the wings of adults; some individuals can completely lack these dark spots. Note that the head is very slightly rounded rather than completely flat across, a key characteristic when distinguishing from the very similar nymphs of F. proxima. (UFL)
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: Very widespread, occurring from Southeastern Canada, south through eastern and central United States and into Mexico; also on Bermuda and found in much of the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico), and introduced into Europe, where it is very widespread (from France to Russia and Turkey) and Korea. (UDEL)
Abundance: A fairly common species, recorded across the state with a majority of records coming from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
Seasonal Occurrence
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Found in a variety of habitats, from grassy brushy areas to mixed hardwood forest.
Plant Associates: Extremely polyphagous, found on a variety of trees including: maples, dogwoods, hawthorns, willows, elms, privet, black locust, and alder. It can also be found on crop plants such as grape, citrus, apricot, peach, blackberry, and raspberry. (Wiki)
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: Metcalfa purinosa typically does little damage to plants. On occasion (less common in North America), it can destroy buds and cause fruit drop, particularly in vineyards, groves, or orchards. Sooty-mold fungus can develop in the honeydew excreted by this species. Limited virus transmission tests have shown M. pruinosa is a non-vector of tristeza, peach yellows, and blueberry stunt. In Europe, M. pruinosa causes considerable damage to some crops and orchards. A dryinid wasp parasite, Psilodryinus typhlocybae, has been reported as common on nymphs of M. pruinosa and its relatives. (UFL)
Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Metcalfa pruinosa Citrus Flatid Planthopper

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, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy habitat
Photo by: T. DeSantis
Camden Co.
Comment: DISW
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: open forest habitat, near mixed hardwoods; on a lawn
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: open forest habitat, near mixed hardwoods; on a lawn
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy area near a few trees.
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Maria de Bruyn
Orange Co.
Comment: Running up and down my chair on the front porch
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_planthopper
Photo by: aubrey wiggins
Wake Co.
Comment:
Photo by: aubrey wiggins
Wake Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Randy L Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: hanging on the edge of the moth sheet.
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Durham Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Greenway - weedy edge of woods. Attracted to black light.
Photo by: Amanda Auxier
Pender Co.
Comment:
Photo by: T. DeSantis
Durham Co.
Comment: ENRI
Photo by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Photo by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Photo by: Hunter Phillips, Cathy Songer
Wayne Co.
Comment:
Photo by: vin stanton
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Yancey Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Randy Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: back of sheet away from moth lights
Photo by: Randy Emmitt
Orange Co.
Comment: UV light
Photo by: Mark Shields
Onslow Co.
Comment: