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

Stirellus bicolor - No Common Name



© Kyle Kittelberger- "summer" form

© Kyle Kittelberger- "southern"
form

© Kyle Kittelberger- "winter" form

© Paul Scharf- nymph
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: Deltocephalinae
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A very distinctive looking leafhopper, distinguished from other species by its very narrow head, with the eyes separated only by their own width (BG). This species is highly variable in color, with several different forms. The "summer", iridescent form has yellowish-green wings and thorax with noticeable bluish-black patches and lines. The head and thorax have three transverse black bands, and the face is black. However, some "summer" individuals can show faint or non-existent black markings. Other individuals can have a "stressed" appearance, showing the colorful body of the "summer" form but pale, almost transparent wings of the spring brood. A southern form, only occurring in the southern states, resembles the "summer" form except the wings are a solid bluish-black color. The "winter" form is brownish overall with some small black markings on the thorax and head. Depending on the temperature and time of year, some individuals can show traits of both "summer" and "winter" forms. Adult females can be distinguished from males, as they have an abdomen that extends far past the wing tips.

Nymphs are variable in coloration, ranging from reddish-brown to purplish to vibrant blue, with yellow eyes and the characteristic pointed, narrow head.

Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: Common and widespread in eastern and central North America, ranging south to Brazil (BG).
Abundance: A common and widespread species in the state, especially in the Piedmont and coastal plain, it can be found year-round. Abundance in the mountains is less certain.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Grassy, brushy areas such as fields; also forest edge and open forest.
Plant Associates: A general grass feeder, including Andropogon spp. (bluestem and broomsedge) (BG).
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: The two main color forms, "summer" and "winter", were once considered to be separate species, S. bicolor and S. obtusus. The "winter" form occurs during the cooler temperatures of the spring and late fall, or if the summer is relatively cool. The "summer", iridescent form occurs during the higher temperatures of summer and early fall. The bright colors are a result of higher temperatures and longer day lengths. This is typically one of the brightest leafhoppers in the summertime. (BG)
Status: Native
Global and State Rank:
See also Habitat Account for General Successional and Semi-Natural Grasslands

Species Photo Gallery for Stirellus bicolor No Common Name

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Rockingham Co.
Comment: open forest habitat near pond
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Common sweeping both uncut & cut grass
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Common sweeping uncut & cut grass
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Common sweeping uncut & cut grass
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Halifax Co.
Comment: grassy, field type habitat near mixed hardwood forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy and field-type habitat; this color form only occurs in the southern states
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy and field-type habitat; this color form only occurs in the southern states
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Brown Morph, Caught sweeping in short early growth grass
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Brown Morph, Caught sweeping in short early growth grass
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Winter Form, Caught sweeping in short early growth grass
Photo by: Paul Scharf, Brian Bockhahn
Burke Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping Winter Form
Photo by: Paul Scharf, Brian Bockhahn
Burke Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping Winter Form
Photo by: Paul Scharf, Brian Bockhahn
Burke Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping Winter Form
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Halifax Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Halifax Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: NYMPH, Caught sweeping
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: NYNPH Caught sweeping
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: NYMPH, Caught sweeping
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: mostly brushy vegetation consisting of willows, etc., on shore of lake; some grass as well; some brown forms
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Vance Co.
Comment: mostly brushy vegetation consisting of willows, etc., on shore of lake; some grass as well; some brown forms
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: female
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: female
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Cumberland Co.
Comment: female
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Weedy/grassy open area. Caught sweeping.
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 3 mm, caught during vegetation sweep around wet retention area
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 3 mm, caught during vegetation sweep around wet retention area
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 3mm
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 3mm
Photo by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Photo by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Dark "southern" form. Caught sweeping. Grassy, weedy area near hardwoods.
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29673662 - unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31319220
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34041636
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34041636
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34041636