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

Aphrophora saratogensis - Saratoga Spittlebug



© Kyle Kittelberger- notice the reddish color and
white line

© Ken Childs

© Kyle Kittelberger- an individual with an
unusual red coloration

© Kyle Kittelberger- an individual with an
unusual red coloration
Taxonomy
Family: APHROPHORIDAE
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: The adult is almost always reddish in color with white patches on the wings and a broad white line or 'arrow' running down the middle of the thorax and onto the head. Some individuals however may appear completely rufous in color, while others are darker. Wings are heavily pitted, characteristic of members of this genus, and the top of the head is relatively flat. Adult males are 7.9-10.8 mm long, females are 9.0-11.2 mm. (Hamilton, 1982)

Nymphs have bright scarlet abdomens bordered by black sides and black heads and bodies. The fifth nymph stage is dark brown. Wilson

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 species of Eastern North America, it has also been found from British Columbia to California. BG
Abundance: Uncommon in North Carolina. Recorded across the state, probably more abundant in the right habitat.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Pine or coniferous forests are favored, with herbaceous undergrowth for the nymphs. Has also been found in mixed hardwood forests and tall grass.
Plant Associates: Main plant hosts for the adults are red pine, Jack pine, and Scots pine, though the Saratoga spittlebug will also feed on white pine, pitch pine, tamarack, balsam fir, and northern white-cedar, usually from trees near infested red pine. Young nymphs feed on herbaceous plant species of the forest floor such as brambles (raspberry and blackberry), orange hawkweed, everlasting, aster, and many others. Older nymphs feed on sweet fern and willow sprouts. Wilson
Behavior: Nymphs hatch from eggs in May and form a spittlemass as they feed on the ground. In late June or July, the nymphs shed their skin and become adults. Adults fly to the pine hosts and feed on the sap of the branches until the end of September. Wilson
Comment: Adults can cause damage to young pines, especially their main host species, that are between 2 and 15 feet tall. For more information, see: Wilson
Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Aphrophora saratogensis Saratoga Spittlebug

Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Caught several in tall mixed grass while sweeping
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Ashe Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: grassy, field type habitat along forest edge. According to Vinton Thompson, "It appears to be a color variation of Aphrophora saratogensis - the morphology and the habitat match. If you come across a whole population of such individuals it would be worth investigating a little further, but it is probably an instance of individual variation."
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: grassy, field type habitat along forest edge. According to Vinton Thompson, "It appears to be a color variation of Aphrophora saratogensis - the morphology and the habitat match. If you come across a whole population of such individuals it would be worth investigating a little further, but it is probably an instance of individual variation."
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: grassy, field type habitat along forest edge. According to Vinton Thompson, "It appears to be a color variation of Aphrophora saratogensis - the morphology and the habitat match. If you come across a whole population of such individuals it would be worth investigating a little further, but it is probably an instance of individual variation."
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Caught Sweeping
Photo by: T. DeSantis
Camden Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Yancey Co.
Comment: 9.3 mm