Hoppers of North Carolina:
Spittlebugs, Leafhoppers, Treehoppers, and Planthoppers
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sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Rhynchomitra recurvaA green species that resembles R. microrhina except for the head. In recurva, the head is not at long and not as tapered as that of microrhina (which has a long, pointed and strongly tapered head), but not as short as that of lingula; recurva's head is stout and not strongly pointed. For a couple images of adults, see (here) and (here). Nymphs are supposedly darker than those of R. microrhina, being dark brown in color.Recorded from several counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, possibly more abundant in the right habitat; very uncommon to rare.Has been found near mixed hardwood forest.Eragrostis curvula (weeping lovegrass, Poaceae) (UDEL)
Neocoelidia tumidifronsA yellow-orange to green species with a rounded head the strongly projects outwards; the antennae are also quite long. Males are plainly colored green (fresh specimens) with no markings except for, in some individuals, a prominent black spot in each anterior corner of the scutellum; there is also a black band near the tip of the abdomen. Females, green, have wings shorter than the length of the abdomen and have distinctive black marks around otherwise yellow eyes. The female pregenital sternite has the posterior margin broadly excavated with a small median tooth. The males subgenital plates are triangular and pointed, gradually taper from bases to pointed apexes. Adults are around 4.0 mm long. (DeLong 1948)Uncommon to rare with only several scattered records across the state.Has been found in grassy, brushy habitat; reportedly common in moist wooded areas where herbaceous growth is abundant (DeLong 1948)Goldenrod
Stictolobus minutusA hornless, brownish species with white speckling on the front of the pronotum. There are two pale lines following the ridge and edge on each side of the pronotum. Adults are 4.6 mm long. See FSCA for more.Rare, reported from a couple counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) (CTNC)
Prescottia lobataA distinctively marked species, with alternating black and white markings along the inner margins of the wings, with two prominent white spots in the middle; the rest of the wings are largely blackish. The anterior base of each wing is white, giving a collared appearance to the hopper. The head and thorax are a pale yellowish-white color with brownish markings. The female pregenital sternite has a truncated posterior margin with a slight median notch. Adult male subgenital plates are slender and narrow with recurved tips. Adults are 5.0-6.0 mm long. (DeLong, 1948)

Nymphs are reportedly similar in coloration to adults, dark gray to blackish with a distinctive color pattern.

For additional images of this species, see: BG.

Recorded from only several counties in the mountains, likely more abundant in this region.Forest edge, open woodland, well vegetated areas.Solidago
Paraphlepsius eburneolusA very distinctive species with a pale, orange-tan head and thorax which contrasts with the very dark, blackish wings. There are some bold white spots on the lateral margins of the scutellum. The crown is produced but somewhat rounded and similarly long across its width; it is sharply angled to the face. The female pregenital sternite has a median notch on the posterior margin, with rounded lateral lobes; overall, the sternite is dark. The male subgenital plates are short and triangular. Adult males are 5.0-5.6 mm long, females are 5.1-5.9 mm. (Hamilton 1975)

For diagrams of this species, see: Dmitriev.

Scattered records across the state, infrequently encountered; likely more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found near mixed hardwood forest, mixed hardwood-pine forest.
Scolops sulcipes
The Partridge Bug
This species is dark brown overall, with light brown legs and head. There is a dense meshwork of veins on the wings with white speckling, characteristic of this species. Adults are 5 to 7 mm long. The head process/projection extends well away from the rest of the body, giving the impression of a long 'nose' on this species. Nymphs are green.

For more images of pinned specimens of this species, see this page: UDEL.

Recorded from several counties in the mountains and western Piedmont; possibly more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found in grassy, brushy habitat.Convolvulus (bindweed), Solidago, Fleabane (UDEL)
Ponana rubidaSimilar to other Ponana species in terms of wing pattern, though spots on the wings are symmetrical. There are no dark spots on the pronotum.

For more images of this species, see: BG.

Rare, only two recent records from the Coastal Plain and Piedmont but likely found elsewhere in NC since it has been recorded from nearby states.
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Acanalonia conicaA green species with dense, reticulated wing venation; the wings can have a small yellow to brown border to them. There are 2 small black dots on the thorax, between the wings. The head is pointed, a key characteristic, and the legs are bicolored, being mostly green with brownish feet. Young nymphs (the first couple instars) have a white to light brown head with brown markings and pits; the body overall is white with light brown markings. The third instar has a body more heavily marked with brown, while the 4th and 5th instars have a body mottled with white, often with black markings along the posterior border of the metanotum. The head of the 3rd through 5th instars is pointed, appearing conical in shape (contrasting with the flat head of A. bivittata); when viewed from above or the side, the head is pointed, due to the face sticking out and having an angled or triangular, rather than flat bottom. Additionally, nymphs of A. conica are supposed to have green wing buds; however, adults associated with nymphs are needed to prove this and it does not appear that all nymphs of this species have the greenish tint. Due to the difficulty of identifying Acanalonia nymphs, an ID may not be possible. See W & M for more information and illustrations of nymph instars.A common species in the state, found primarily in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.Has been found in grassy, field-type habitat, forest edge, and within mixed hardwood forest. Polyphagous (UDEL)
Graphocephala hieroglyphicaA 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)

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.

Uncommon to rare; only recorded from a few counties in the Piedmont.Has been found in grassy, field-like habitat as well as wet depressions.Willow (Salix sp.) (DeLong 1948)
Arundanus rubralineusA species with a distinctive coloration and a broad, bluntly angled vertex that is about 1/4 wider between the eyes than the median length. The margin of the vertex usually lacks dark or white bands and is typically without dark markings; occasionally there is a black line on the margin. The vertex is only marked by a pair of broad longitudinal orange stripes, with two faint dark spots near the vertex tip inside the orange bands; these orange bands extends onto the pronotum, with a couple more smaller orange bands on either side. The female pregenital sternite is truncated/emarginate with a narrow incision in the middle that extends 2/3 of the way to the anterior margin. The male genital plates have broad bluntly rounded apexes that are divergent from one another. Adults are around 5.0 mm long. (DeLong 1941)A single record from the Coastal Plain; likely more abundant in the right habitat.Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
Arundanus propriusThis species has a strongly produced, angled vertex with a bold pattern. The vertex margin is white, bordered below by a uniform black band and above by a series of black spots: there are three large triangular black spots separated from one another on either side of the vertex, with the central pair the largest. The vertex is slightly wider between the eyes than the median length. The male genital plates are long and narrow, bluntly pointed and divergent from one another. Adults are around 4.5 mm long. (DeLong 1941), (DeLong 1948)

For diagrams of this species, see: Zahniser.

Rare; recently found in the Piedmont; maybe more abundant in the right habitat.Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria tecta)
Arundanus latidensOverall, this species is brown tinged with orange and yellow/yellow-green. The vertex is broadly, bluntly angled, about 1/4 wider between the eyes than at the median length. The vertex margin is white, bordered above and below with a dark brown to black line; the above line is continuous but waved and interrupted in the middle with a very slight white incision. The female pregenital sternite is very distinctive and different from other members in this genus, with a broad produced convex tooth in the middle; this tooth extends beyond the rounded lateral angles of the sternite. The male genital plates are long and slender and triangular, diverging from one another. Adults are around 5.0 mm long. (DeLong 1941)Uncommon to locally common with scattered records across the Coastal Plain; likely more abundant in the right habitat.Moist areas where the host plant grows.Cane/native bamboo (Arundinaria)
Chlorotettix suturalisPale green to yellowish overall, sometimes reddish, with a brown median line (this is sometimes barely visible). The vertex is bluntly angled and is a little longer in the middle than near the eye. The pronotum has the disc and posterior portion darker, and the basal angles of the scutellum are a dark brown. The wings are fuscous, with a dark fuscous stripe consisting of three distinct lobes. The female pregential sternite has the posterior margin broadly and deeply notched more than half way to the base; the sides of the notch are dark brown. The male genital plates are broad and long, narrowing cconvexly to rounded tips. Adults are around 7.5 mm long. (DeLong 1948), (DeLong 1918) For diagrams of the genitalia of this species, see: Dmitriev.Only recorded from a single county in the mountains; likely under collected and therefore under reported.Most stream floodplains where cane occurs (DeLong 1948)Cane (Arundinaria tecta) (DeLong 1948)
Otiocerus abbotiiA distinctive member of this genus, it has pale, yellowish wings with small black spots scattered across the wings and along the tips. The rest of the body is mostly concolorous with the yellowish color of the wings. Adults are 9 mm long. See here for a nice image of an adult: BG.Uncommon to rare, scattered records across the state; can occur in high abundance in some locations, such as at Bald Head Island.Derbidae are known or assumed to feed on fungal hyphae as immatures (UDEL). Adults have been found on Quercus (oak) (BHL).
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Graphocephala teliformisA large member of this genus, with males 7.2- 8.5 mm long and females 8.0- 9.1 mm long (though longer individuals can occur). There are two color forms. Typical individuals resemble G. fennahi and have contrasting bold red stripes of subequal (almost equal) width on green wings; there are only 2 stripes. Individuals of the other color form look like G. coccinea, with contrasting red stripes (3 possible stripes) on blue wings. Wing stripes can be blue-green but are seldom bright blue (BG). The crown is yellow and the scutellum is yellowish to orange, while the underside of the body is yellow. There is a bold black line going around the side of the face between the eyes. (Hamilton 1985)Recorded from several counties in the Piedmont and mountains, but probably more abundant in the right habitats; uncommon. Likely not to be found in much of the Coastal Plain.A common understory species found around the edge of forests; has also been found in the state within mixed hardwood forest. Adults are polyphagous, found on choke cherry and other woody plants (BG)
Anotia kirkaldyiA colorful species, with a reddish-brown color pattern on the wings and body. While the wing venation is pale, this species can be differentiated from others by the bold, dark diagonal stripe along one of the veins. The outer edge of the wings has red markings, and the thorax and abdomen are reddish. There are 2 (or more) red marks on the sides of the head, around the eye. The antennal stubs are reddish-brown.A handful of records from the Piedmont, possibly more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found near mixed hardwood forest.Derbidae are known or assumed to feed on fungal hyphae as immatures (UDEL).
Paraphlepsius continuusA medium-sized, brownish leafhopper. This species has a rounded head margin, not sharply angled towards the face, and the head itself is rounded without a noticeable point. The wings, pronotum, and head are mostly orange to brown in color with small white dots across the body; the wings are densely reticulate. The female pregenital sternite has rounded lateral lobes and a notch in the middle of the posterior margin, causing the margin to resemble a } in shape; there is a small dark border on the sides of the projection. The male subgenital plates are long and triangular. Adult males are 5.5-6.2 mm long, while females are 5.6-7.1 mm. (Hamilton 1975)

For diagrams of this species, see: Dmitriev.

Somewhat common, recorded across the Piedmont and Coastal Plain; likely more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found in grassy areas, as well as in or near mixed hardwood forest.Sedges (BG)
Scaphytopius nigrifronsA dark species with a short, bluntly angled vertex. Males are entirely blackish, ranging in color from jet black to a glossy bluish black; the face is black, a key characteristic. Females are a dark brown overall, with a dark brown to black face that can have some small light dots and markings; the scutellum is orange. In both sexes, the vertex is marked with a pair of white elongated spots on either side of the midline; the margin of the vertex is also pale. Additionally, the wings in both sexes are largely unicolorous and lack most white markings; the white areolar spots are typically confined to two columns on either side of the apical crossveins, and there can be spots along the inner edge of the wings (down the back). The male subgenital plates are quite large, gradually narrowing and becoming rather blunt at the apexes. The female pregnital sternite is roundedly produced on the posterior margin. Adult males are 4.0 mm long, females are 4.6 mm. (DeLong 1948), (Hepner 1947)

For diagrams of this species, see: Zahniser.

Recorded from a few counties in the Piedmont, likely more abundant in the right habitat.
Draeculacephala mollipesA green species with blue wing venation and sometimes blue pronotal lines; this blue pigmentation is typcially bold (especially on the pronotum) and quite noticeable, though the amount of blue on the wings can vary as can the number of pronotal lines withs ometimes only a central blue line present. This species has a yellow underside, with yellow face and venter, and there is black line edging on the side of the head. A smallish to medium-sized species, with males less than 6.6 mm long and females less than 8.0 mm. (Dietrich 1994)A common to uncommon species in the state, likely fairly abundant. Found throughout North CarolinaMixed hardwood forest, grassy areas, fields, etc.?
Sophonia orientalis
Two-spotted Leafhopper
An unmistakable species, nothing else in our fauna can be confused with it. Adults are yellowish with a bold dark brown to black longitudinal stripe, sometimes bordered by red, down the center of the wings along the commissure. There are two bold black "eye" spots at the apex of each wing, where there is some rufous color present. The middorsal stripe splits into two thin, parallel bands on the head and ends at a prominent black spot at the apex of the head. Nymphs are uniformly green or light-yellow and have a shovel-shaped nose, as well as a pair of small black spots at the rear end of the abdomen (CABI).Recorded recently from a few counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, likely a recent arrival in the state and probably more abundant elsewhere as this species is expanding its range.Found in a variety of habitats, though studies have shown this species has a preference for wetter, closed habitats rather than drier, open ones (CABI).Extremely polyphagous, this species attacks more than 300 plant species in over 83 families; resident breeding populations have been recently discovered in ornamental, vegetable, and fruit crops in California (BG). For a larger list of host plants, see: PKB.
Bandara curvataAdults are orange yellow with six black dashes above the margin of the vertex and an interrupted line beneath. The posterior margin of the vertex, three stripes on the pronotum, two spots on the scutellum and numerous oval spots on the wings are white. The female pregenital sternite is rounded on lateral angles; the posterior margin is slightly emarginate, with a pair of short teeth in the middle that have divergent apexes. The male plates are tapered to blunt rounded apexes, appearing triangular together. Adults are 4.5-5.0 mm long. (DeLong 1948) For diagrams of the genitalia of this species, see: Dmitriev.Recorded from a few counties in the Piedmont; probably more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found in open woodlands, near mixed hardwood forest, grassy areas
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Thionia simplexA distinctive looking species in this genus. Adults are mostly unicolorous and brownish in color, with bold dark wing venation; young adults though may be uniformly greenish in color, with the body and wings darkening as the adults age. The head, legs, and part of thorax are typically greenish. The head is fairly round and flat, without any prominent lateral margins. Nymphs are greenish overall with orange longitudinal stripes down the body. Like the adult, the head of the nymph is characteristically rounded, separating this from the similar nymphs of T. quinquata which have pointed heads. For more information about the nymphs and their various instar stages, see W & W 1988. Uncommon, not encountered very often; scattered records across the state. Has been found near mixed hardwood forest.Polyphagous on dicots (UDEL); on various herbs, shrubs, and trees.
Stictocephala brevitylusA greenish species with prominent horns and light speckling across the pronotum. The tips of the horns and the ridge of the pronotum are reddish. The key characteristics of this species are the dark, reddish-brown legs and the black ventral sides of the thorax; this helps separate it from most other species in this genus that look similar. Females are 8-9 mm long, while males are 7-8 mm. For more, see FSCA.Seasonal distribution: 5 April-2 July (CTNC)Has been found near mixed hardwood forest.Aster sp., Ceanothus sp., Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, Helianthus sp., Morus sp., Quercus falcata, Robinia pseudoacacia, Rubus argutus, Sarracenia flava, Smilax sp., Solanum tuberosum, Vaccinium sp., Vitis sp. (CTNC); also on Eupatorium capillifolium, Gleditsia triacanthos, Ostrya virginiana, Sambucus canadensis (CTGSMNP)
Clastoptera proteus
Dogwood Spittlebug
A highly, highly variable species with many different color forms: see here and here for some of them. Almost all color forms have alternating bands of black and yellow on the head and upper pronotum, with the rest of the pronotum blackish. Many forms also have a yellow shield or saddle of some sort on the wings, which are otherwise black or dark brown. Some individuals though can have mostly yellow wings. This species is most similar to C. testacea, with one form in particular that has an all black elytra that resembles the male of C. testacea. However, this black form has a black band across the face, a key characteristic shared among all other forms as well, separating this from the male C. testacea whose face lacks the dark band. Males are 2.9-3.5 mm long, while females are 3.3-4.1 mm (BG).

Nymphs are variable in color, ranging from light brown with a dark brown band across the base of the abdomen and a dark tip to the abdomen to bicolored with a pale yellowish abdomen and dark head and thorax; the latter seems to be the more common color pattern. Note how nymphs of this species compare with those of C. achatina.

Uncommon to rare, recorded in only a few counties in North Carolina. Likely more common in the right habitat.Where dogwoods are present.Nymphs feed on bush dogwoods (Cornus sp.) but evidently not tree dogwoods (Cornus florida, Flowering Dogwood); has also been found on Vaccinium, at least in the Midwest. Adults feed on the same hosts as the nymphs. (Hamilton, 1982)
Clastoptera achatina
Pecan Spittlebug
This species has a distinctive yellow head and back with contrasting brown wings. The pronotum and scutellum are completely yellow, and the yellow continues onto the base of the wings, forming almost a yellow border between the pronotum and rest of the wings. The upper part of the face is concolorous with the head, while the lower part of the face is black. Males, which are 3.7-4.1 mm long, are characterized by having a dark brown band across the rear of the wings, most noticeable when viewed from above: see here for a male. Females, which are 4.5-5.0 mm long, lack this brown band. Like other Clastoptera, there is a small black dot at the rear lower corner of the wings. (BG)

Nymphs are bicolored, with a dark brown head and thorax and a pale yellowish body. Note, this pattern is similar to that of C. proteus, but nymphs of that species will be found on different vegetation.

Uncommon, recorded from scattered locations across the Piedmont and mountains, but probably more abundant across the state in the right habitat, where hickories are present.Has been recorded from mixed hardwood forest and open forest habitat.Hickory and pecan trees (Carya sp.), has also been recorded Solidago, Alnus, and Gleditsia (DL).
Agallia deletaA distinctive small, reddish-brown member of this genus with a small head; smaller than all Agallias except A. lingulata. Adults lack the head spots found on other Agallia species and are about 2.5-3mm in length. Males however, as in other Agallia, can be quite dark and appear almost black in color; note however, that in comparison with A. lingulata, A. deleta lacks any pronotal spots. This species also lacks bold, pale wing venation that other Agallias have. The female pregenital sternite has a slightly concave posterior margin with a very small tooth in the middle; otherwise it appears mostly truncate. The male plates are rather long and broad, tapering towards the apex. (DeLong 1948), (Oman 1933)A very uncommon species in the state, infrequently encountered. Recorded from several counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, probably more abundant in the right habitat.Found in grassy, field-type habitat; has also been found on lawns.Festuca lawn grass, clover, weeds, tall native grass, etc.
Cyrtolobus auroreusMales of this species have an arched pronotum that is black and yellow with some dull red coloring and two narrow irregular dull red transverse bands. The face is black, and the margins and front are a deep rose color. The legs are a yellowish-red. Females are greenish overall, with a yellowish green face and rose eyes. The pronotum is strongly elevated and evenly arched, highest a little forward of the middle. A broad rose band begins on the crest and expands obliquely downwards; there is a broader vertical green band, somewhat triangular in shape, behind the rose band. This is followed by another rose band descending downwards and another green band, again followed by another rose band which covers the apex of the pronotum. The female's body beneath is light green, and the ovipositor is a deep rose/red. The fore wings are hyaline with some reddish veins; the anterior half is light green. The legs are yellowish with some reddish tints. Adult males are 5.75 mm long while females are 5.9 mm. (Kopp)Scattered records across the state; very uncommon species and infrequently encountered. Seasonal distribution: 23 April-20 June (CTNC)Quercus alba, Q. prinus (CTNC); also on Q. rubra (CTGSMNP)
Aphrophora cribrata
Pine Spittlebug
The Pine Spittlebug has the most inflated face of any spittlebug, sticking out in front of the flat upper surface ("crown") of the head; this gives the spittlebug's face a swollen appearance and a pointed head, distinctive to this species and a useful characteristic to separate A. cribrata from other members of this genus which have rounded heads. In addition, the black and white wing pattern/markings are distinctive; the white marks are spotted in appearance and form a disjunct upside down "V" with an apex facing the head. Wings are heavily pitted, characteristic of members of this genus. Males are typically smaller than females, ranging from 8.8 to 10 mm, while females are 9.1-11.5 mm. BG

Nymphs are dark, with a dark head and thorax and a pale brown abdomen. Nymphs show the pronounced jutting head characteristic of adults; the head is longer than the first segment of the thorax (whereas in A. saratogensis, the head is shorter).

Locally abundant in white pine woods, likely more abundant and widespread in pine forests.Locally abundant in white pine woods. BGPines (Pinus sp.), including Scots pine (P. sylvestris), Pitch pine (P. rigida) and White pine (O. strobus); also introduced Norway spruce (Picea abies). The feeding punctures of this species are frequently invaded by Scotch pine blight or sooty mold, typically leading to tree mortality. Native trees are more resistant to damage from this spittlebug than introduced tree species. (Hamilton, 1982)
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Microcentrus perditusThis species ranges in color from light brown to dark grayish-brown. The key characteristic for this species are the horns/projections present on the thorax, separating this from the projection-less M. caryae. Females have extremely pronounced horns that noticeably project from the pronotum. Males also have horns, but these are much smaller, being slight pronotal projections. Males are 7 to 8 mm long, while females are 8.5 mm (FSCA).Uncommon to rare, scattered records across the state. Seasonal distribution: 20 May-20 October (CTNC)Has been found near mixed hardwood forest. Carya illinoinensis (CTNC); has also been recorded from Quercus laurifolia, Q. nigra, and Q.
virginiana (FSCA), and Q. alba (CTGSMNP)
Scaphytopius elegansA very distinctive and stunning species. Adults are a reddish-brown (though this color can vary among individuals) with a pale, yellowish broad midline patch that extends from the head down the middle of the wings. There are two bold black marks at the rear of the wings; there are also some pale white spots scattered on the wings. There is a white transverse band with a black border between each eye, on the edge of the head. The vertex itself is blunt, not sharply pointed, and is almost twice as long as the width between the eyes. The face is pale, sometimes yellow. The female pregenital sternite is broadly and roundedly produced on the posterior margin. Male subgenital plates are triangular and strongly divergent from one another. Adults are 4.5-5.0 mm long, with females longer than males. (DeLong 1948)

For diagrams of this species, see: Zahniser.

Recorded recently from a couple counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain; very uncommon to rare, possibly more abundant in the right habitat.Has been found in open habitat near brush/pines.Quercus spp., in particular live oak (Q. virginiana) (Hepner 1947)
Homalodisca vitripennis
Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
A large leafhopper, adults are 11-14 mm in length and have a large flattened head. This species has a blackish head and thorax with white spots, and the sides of the abdomen are a mixture of black and white patches. Wing veins are reddish to brown in color; the base half of the wings have "glassy" or transparent wing patches while the other half is dark in color with red, brown, and black patterns. The face and legs of adults are yellow-orange. The underside of the abdomen is speckled black and white, and the head and thorax are yellow. Nymphs shape-wise resemble the adults, especially the head; they have a grayish to brown body.
For additional pics of adults, see Glassy-winged Sharpshooter.
Uncommon to locally common, recorded from a handful of counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain; probably more abundant in the state in the right habitat.Found in grassy/brushy areas during much of the year, and hibernates in the forests during winter months.This species feeds on the xylem, the water conducting tissue, of herbaceous and woody plants. It has been known to feed on more than 100 plant species; preferred plants depend on the season and locality, but typically include crape myrtle, citrus, oak, Vitis, Hibiscus, and holly. GWSS
Scaphoideus opalinusTypically a gray to white species, paler than most Scaphoideus. The crown is mostly grayish-white, with a thin brown marginal area and a thin, sometimes faint orange band between the eyes. The eyes are brown to bold red, while the face is brown to golden tan with several white and brown lines below the crown. The pronotum is grayish-white, with either few markings except a couple black patches near the crown, or scattered orange-brown markings near the base and apex. The scutellum is whitish to a creamy orange color with dark brown upper corners and sometimes a reddish-orange patch in the middle. The wing color and pattern varies among individuals, but they are grayish to white with brown veins and some white, orange, and brown cells. The underside is a combination of white, brown, yellow, and gray areas; the valve is yellow and the plates are tan with an oblique brown bar. The female pregenital sternite (sternite number 7) is yellowish except for the dark brown or black posterior medial patch; there is no notch in this sternite, with the margins relatively straight. Adult males are 5.0-5.3 mm long, while females are 5.2-5.7 mm. (Barnett 1976)Uncommon, recorded from several counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, but probably more abundant in the right habitat. Has been recorded from mixed to open hardwood forest habitat and maritime shrub; probably found in areas where Red Cedar is present. Various junipers, especially Juniperus virginiana (Red Cedar). Has also been taken from tall grass and pine (BG).
Draeculacephala savannahaeA tan, brownish species that has a yellowish "faded line" around the edge of the wings. The crown is marked with thin black lines and small black dots, and the scutellum has two semi-faint black triangular-shaped black spots along the anterior margin. The wing venation is pale, contrasting with the tan wings. There is a black line around the sides of the body, and the face and underside of the body are a light brown. Females have long pointed heads, while males have much shorter heads. The female pregenital sternite is moderately to strongly produced with a noticeable projection on the posterior margin. Adult males are 5.4-6.4 mm long, while females are 6.5-7.4 mm (though males may range up to 6.9 mm and females up to 7.8 mm). A few recent records from the Coastal Plain, probably more abundant near the coast (though this species may be a recent arrival in the state as it was previously known as far north as South Carolina). Near coastal marshesReported from a grass-vetch mixture: Eremochloa ophiuroides-Vicia sp.
Thionia ellipticaThis species varies in color from grayish to brown but is generally yellowish or greenish-tan with brown speckling. It has a characteristic vertex (top of the head) that is concave from the frontal view, with the lateral margins flared prominently, and from the dorsal view, the vertex is wider than long (BG). See here for a nice depiction of the noticeably wider than long vertex. Nymphs are light brown to black in color, heavily marked with cream spots, and have red eyes. See W & W 1987 for more information and drawings of the nymphs of T. elliptica. (BG)Uncommon to rare, only one recent record from the Piedmont.Mixed hardwood forest, where oaks are present. Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak, Fagaceae), Q. marilandica (blackjack oak) (UDEL); nymphs have also been found on red maple and Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo, black gum).
Sanctanus sanctusAdults are 4.0-5.0 mm long. Whitish overall with a brownish band across the wings. The vertex is whitish with a couple small fuscous spots near the apex. The wings are whitish, with a cruciform-shaped brownish band that is bordered with black. The female pregenital sternite is slightly notched in the middle of the posterior margin. Male genital plates are long and slender; the apexes are blunt. (DeLong 1948)

For images of this species, see: BG.

Recorded from a couple counties in the Coastal Plain; rare.Brushy areasHerbaceous plants
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Amplicephalus littoralisA relatively plain, drab species, pale yellowish to stramineous (straw-colored) overall with a conical vertex. Sometimes the edges of the abdominal segments are darker. The crown, pronotum, and scutellum are stramineous to pale yellowish green; rarely does the crown have a pair of triangular spots at the apex. The forewings are subhyaline with whitish to pale yellowish green venation. The female pregenital sternite has the posterior margin with a distinct lobe, darkened on each side. Adult males are 2.5-4.0 mm long, while females are 3.0-4.5 mm. (Kramer 1971)Recorded from a single county in the Coastal Plain; probably more abundant in the right habitat.Coastal marshes where Distichlis occurs.Seashore saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) (Kramer 1971)
Draeculacephala portolaA yellowish-green (more green than yellow) Draeculacephala with a brownish underside. Males are blackish on the underside with pale plates (the triangular-shaped genital plates at the tip of the abdomen), while females are a light brown color underneath. This species lack the blue pigmentation on the wing venation and pronotum that other members of this genus have, a helpful distinguishing characteristic; wing venation is therefore pale, almost white in color. The key distinguishing characteristic that separates this species from all other members of this genus is the inflated face profile. When viewed form the side, the face noticeably bulges outwards. This is a large member of this genus, with males around 8.1 mm long and females 9.9-10.6 mm. (Dietrich 1994), (Hamilton 1985)Rare to locally common. A coastal plain species, found primarily on the coast; there are two inland records for this species in the Coastal Plain- one from Duplin county, and the other from Edgecombe county. These inland records seems notably far from the coast but have been included on the site.Coastal sand dunes, coastal marshes (Dietrich 1994)Spartina ssp. (Dietrich 1994)
Acanalonia pumilaA very small member of this genus, tiny compared to the other Acanalonias. The vertex (head) gradually rounds from the eyes, and the costal margin of the wing is narrowly reflexed; the wings are heavily reticulared (UDEL). The 5th instar nymph of this species (which has been described) has a broad, nearly straight (or flat) head; the vertex is nearly twice as broad as long, and the face has an irregular row of sensory pits near each margin (FLEN). The eyes are large and prominent, with ocelli lacking. The nymph appears hump-backed, with sensory pits covering various parts of the whole body. Nymphs are pale cream to brownish in color, with a mottled appearance. The penultimate instars are strongly mottled and marked with light to dark brown. Nymphs are 3.9 mm long. For more information on the nymphs, including some drawings, see: FLEN.Strictly coastal, recorded from a couple counties in the southeastern portion of the coast; possibly more abundant in other coastal counties. This species has been reported as locally common in coastal sea grasses at times.Coastal see grassesBorrichia arborescens (tree seaside tansy; Asteraceae), Argusia gnaphalodes (sea rosemary; Boraginaceae; as Mallotonia gnaphalodes); Batis maritima (turtleweed; Bataceae) [this is the primary host plant], Salicornia depressa (Virginia glasswort; Chenopodiaceae, as Salicornia virginica), Suaeda linearis (annual sea-blite; Chenopodiaceae) (UDEL)
Aphelonema simplexA sexually dimorphic species, with the males reddish in color and the females, slightly larger, a tan to light brown color. The very short, flat head is very distinctive; the front of the head is circular in shape. (UDEL)This species can be locally abundant; it is primarily coastal in the state, having been recorded from several counties in the Coastal Plain. Coastal marshes, cordgrass habitatSpartina patens (cordgrass, Poaceae) (UDEL)
Pentagramma vittatifronsA greenish species with transverse orange bands on the frons. Adult males are less than 7 mm long while females are 7 mm. See UDEL for images of a pinned specimen (scroll down on the page) and BOLD for several other pinned specimens.Coastal, can be locally common and abundant. Likely found throughout the coast.Coastal marshesSpecies in this genus with known hosts are monophagous on bullrushes. This particular species is known from Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (= Scirpus validus) (UDEL)
Prokelisia marginataA light brownish species with yellowish to hyaline wings and a pale thorax and face. The frons has dark brown longitudinal markings along the median and is widest in the basal third; it is about two times longer than it is wide.
Adult males are 2.3-4.1 mm long, while females are 3.4-4.4 mm. (Wilson, 1982)
Locally common along the coast where it has been recorded, probably found throughout the coast.Grassy, marshy areas with Spartina (UDEL)Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) (UDEL)
Tumidagena propinquaA very distinctive genus. Adult males are pale with black-tipped wings and an orange abdomen and legs. The tip of the abdomen is also black (the pygofer), and there is a white band above the black on the wings. Females are completely pale. Note the length of the head, which extends well past the eyes. The other species in this genus that has been recorded in North Carolina, T. terminalis, can best be distinguished visually by the length of the head. In propinqua, the head is slightly more than twice as long as the width at base; in terminalis, the head is longer, being almost three times as long as the width at the base. The longer head of terminalis can also be seen when viewed from the underside: propinqua vs. terminalis.Recorded from a couple counties in the Coastal Plain, likely more abundant along the coast in the right habitat.Coastal salt marshesSpartina cordgrasses
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Prokelisia croceaA distinctive member of this genus, yellowish-orange overall with orangish markings on the thorax and face. Otherwise, the face is pale, orange-yellow laterally and pale medially. See here for images of live adults. (UDEL)Recorded from the coast, likely more abundant in the right habitat.Grassy, coastal habitatCoastal grasses, cordgrass (Spartina alternifolia) (UDEL)
Tumidagena terminalisA very distinctive genus. Adult males are pale with black-tipped wings and an orange abdomen and legs. The tip of the abdomen is also black (the pygofer), and there is a white band above the black on the wings. Females are completely pale. Note the length of the head, which extends well past the eyes. The other species in this genus that has been recorded in North Carolina, T. propinqua, can best be distinguished visually by the length of the head. In propinqua, the head is slightly more than twice as long as the width at base; in terminalis, the head is longer, being almost three times as long as the width at the base. The longer head of terminalis can also be seen when viewed from the underside: propinqua vs. terminalis.Recorded from a single county in the Coastal Plain, likely found throughout the coast in the right habitat.Coastal salt marshesSpartina cordgrasses
Spartidelphax detectusA pale, whitish species with a robust body. The head, including the eyes, are slightly larger than the pronotum, and the vertex in dorsal view projects past the eyes. Macropters (long-winged) are darker than brachypters, with the abdomen and lateral portion of the mesonotum a brownish color. However, macropterous wings are clear (just like brachypterous wings) and extend past the length of the abdomen. Both Spartidelphax species are extremely similar, though S. detectus is slightly smaller than penedetectus. The best field mark for differentiating the two species without dissection is the length of the vertex. In S. penedetectus, the vertex is nearly 1.5 (range around 1.34 to 1.5) times longer than it is wide; in S. detectus, the vertex is slightly shorter, being about 1.3 (range around 1.25 to 1.31) times longer than wide. Note the slight difference in the lengths with these two specimens. In penedetectus, brachypter males have an average body length of 2.33 mm while macropters have an average of 3.79 mm; female brachypters have an average length of 3.06 mm while macropters have an average of 4.07 mm. In detectus, brachypter males have an average body length of 2.28 mm while macropters have an average of 3.29 mm; female brachypters have an average length of 2.89 mm while macropters have an average of 3.61 mm. Looking at male genitalia, the aedeagus of penedetectus has ventral teeth or fine serrulations, while in detectus is has long rows of lateral teeth extending beyond the distal third of the aedeagus. Nymphs of this genus are whitish overall. For more information on Spartidelphax and differentiating to the two species, see: Bartlett 2014.Recorded along the coast where it can be locally abundant. Likely found throughout our coastal habitats where suitable habitat exists.Coastal marsh grass, spartina in particularSpartina patens (Poaceae, saltmeadow cordgrass), Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass). Spartidelphax detectus is likely a specialist on S. patens, with S. alterniflora “an inferior host plant for development” (UDEL).
Evacanthus ustanuchaMales have moderately long wings that extend past the tip of the abdomen. The venter is orange-yellow, unmarked except for fuscous claws on the legs. The body is mostly pale brown, with two bold black spots on the head and fuscous speckling on the rest of the head, the middle of the pronotum, and the scutellum. Wings are ivory-white, sometimes with a yellow tint; there is a broad blackish-brown to black band that extends from the sides of the pronotum down the clavi and commissure of the wings before curving towards the wing tips. [NOTE: the black band (which is broken by the claval suture on each wing) does not reach all the way to the edge of the wings, helping distinguish this species from E. bellaustralis.] In males collected from Chestnut Bald, the entire pronotum was dark; see comments section below. Females have short, rounded wings with more than one abdominal segment exposed. Females are tan or orange, sometimes yellowish. They are patterned as in the males with dark, black markings on the wings and pronotum, or with markings that are paler and less extensive (more of a pale brown). In these paler individuals, there is a black mark on each side of the anterior margin of the pronotum. Adult males are 4.3-4.7 mm long, females are 5.0-6.0 mm. (Hamilton, 1983)A localized, mountaintop-inhabiting species found on several peaks in several counties in western North Carolina. There is a considerable gap between Yancey, Transylvania, and Macon counties, where this species has been recorded, so probably found at least between these two counties. However, the individuals in Transylvania and Macon counties could represent a separate species. See comments below.Has been found near high elevation spruce-fir coniferous forests, in grassy vegetation.Probably Diervilla (bush-honeysuckle), the host plant for a northern member of this genus [pers. comm. A. Hamilton].
Philaronia canadensisThis species externally resembles the Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius) but does not have the raised wing veins of Philaenus. Unlike Philaenus, in which the wing veins are not distinct, Philaronia have dark, distinct [and noticeable] veins that branch towards the edges of the wings. This is a dark species (as seen in the pics above), with a combination of gray and black on the body. The wings are covered with pale hairs, characteristic of this genus, that stand out against the dark body (see pics above); in Philaenus, the hairs are not as prominent as they are transparent and blend in with the underlying wing color. For a nice comparison between wings of Philaronia vs. Philaenus, showing hairs and veination, click here.
The antennal ledge, located above the base of the antennae, is also contrastingly redder than the rest of the face. Females, which have dark faces, are 6.0-6.7 mm in length while males, which have a mostly yellowish face, are 5.4-6.2 mm long. (BG).
This is also the only spittlebug genus with orange nymphs; click here for an image of a Philaronia nymph.
A rare species, P. canadensis has only been recorded from a single county. Has been recorded recently in a montane meadow with brushy vegetation; there is probably a higher likelihood of finding this species where there is Goldenrod. Additionally, in Ontario this species has been found in river bottoms and along lake shores (BG).Nymphs probably feed on the subterranean parts of herbaceous plants; adults have been found on Goldenrod (Solidago) (Hamilton, 1982)
Shellenius balliiA distinctly colored species with characteristic red and dark markings. The head, which is proportionately longer than in other similar Derbids, has a broad red band that extends across the entire length. This band narrows on the sides of the thorax, continuing onto the wings where it is considerably widens up and darkens toward the wing tips; the wing venation in this widened band is the same bright red color as the beginning of the band while the wing cells in between the veins are a dark blackish-brown color. The rest of the wings, thorax and head a re a pale yellow color.

For more images of this species, see: BG.

Rare, a single record from the mountains.Acer (maple), Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam), Sabal palmetto, Fraxinus (ash) (UDEL)
Spartidelphax penedetectusA pale, whitish species with a robust body. The head, including the eyes, are slightly larger than the pronotum, and the vertex in dorsal view projects past the eyes. Macropters (long-winged) are darker than brachypters, with the abdomen and lateral portion of the mesonotum a brownish color. However, macropterous wings are clear (just like brachypterous wings) and extend past the length of the abdomen. Both Spartidelphax species are extremely similar, though S. penedetectus is slightly larger than detectus. The best field mark for differentiating the two species without dissection is the length of the vertex. In S. penedetectus, the vertex is nearly 1.5 (range around 1.34 to 1.5) times longer than it is wide; in S. detectus, the vertex is slightly shorter, being about 1.3 (range around 1.25 to 1.31) times longer than wide. Note the slight difference in the lengths with these two specimens. In penedetectus, brachypter males have an average body length of 2.33 mm while macropters have an average of 3.79 mm; female brachypters have an average length of 3.06 mm while macropters have an average of 4.07 mm. In detectus, brachypter males have an average body length of 2.28 mm while macropters have an average of 3.29 mm; female brachypters have an average length of 2.89 mm while macropters have an average of 3.61 mm. Looking at male genitalia, the aedeagus of penedetectus has ventral teeth or fine serrulations, while in detectus is has long rows of lateral teeth extending beyond the distal third of the aedeagus. Nymphs of this genus are whitish overall. For more information on Spartidelphax and differentiating to the two species, see: Bartlett 2014.Recorded along the coast where it can be locally abundant. Likely found throughout our coastal habitats where suitable habitat exists.Coastal marsh grass, spartina in particularSpartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) (UDEL)
sciNamedescriptionabundancehabitatfood
Clastoptera saintcyri
Heath Spittlebug
A variable species with many color forms. Males are typically almost all black with yellow legs. Some black males also have red eyes and a hint of red on the elytron. The black can vary to a brownish color, and the black can either cover the whole elytron or only part ot it; the underside is typically yellow except for a black band between the eyes. Females are frequently boldly striped with alternating bands of yellow and black on both the wings and thorax and head. In some individuals, part of the yellow markings is replaced with orange. Adult males are 2.7- 3.5 mm long, while females are 3.2- 4.1 mm; see here for a size comparison in a mating pair. (Hamilton, 1982)Several scattered records across the Piedmont and mountains, with one recent record; possibly more abundant in the right habitat.Heath situations in mixed pine-maple forests (BG)Nymphs feed on Large Cranberry (Vaccinium mactocarpon) and probably many other Ericaceae (heaths, flowering plants). Adults feed on various Ericaceae, including: Blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), Evergreen shrub (Leucothoe sp.), Huckleberry (Gaylussacia sp.), Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), Sweet Gale (Myrica Gale), and Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum). (Hamilton, 1982)