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

Stictocephala diceros - Two-horned Treehopper

© Ken Childs

© Paul Scharf
Family: MEMBRACIDAESubfamily: SmiliinaeTribe: CeresiniSynonym: Ceresa diceros
Taxonomic Author: (Say, 1824)
Online Photographs: BugGuide, GBIF                                                                                  
Description: A very distinctive looking member of this genus with prominent pubescence (hair) on the front of the pronotum (characteristic of this species); the front of the pronotum is yellowish with numerous scattered brown markings. The pronotum is dark brown with transverse bands of yellowish white; sometimes the bands do not transverse all the way across the pronotum, with pale patches on the sides of the pronotum instead, and the brown pattern can vary among individuals. The humeral horns are stout and blunt, and the legs vary from light to dark brown; the underside of the body is a very dark brown. The wings are a smoky to dark brown hyaline. Adults are 8 to 9 mm long, with females larger than males; the width between the humeral horns is 5.5 mm. (FSCA), (Kopp & Yonke, 1973)

For more images of this species, see: BG.

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 relatively common species, found throughout eastern and central North America, as far west as the Rocky Mountains (FSCA)
Abundance: Recorded from the mountains and Piedmont. Seasonal distribution: 8 June-6 October (CTNC)
Seasonal Occurrence
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found near mixed hardwood forest.
Plant Associates: Primarily American Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) (CTNC); also reported elsewhere from Bidens sp., Carya, Helianthus, Quercus, Robinia (black locust), sycamore, American elm, Rubus, Solidago, Vitis, sweetclover, butternut, nettle, raspberry, Ambrosia sp., bull thistle, dogbane, hazel, wild hemp, sunflower (FSCA), (Kopp & Yonke, 1973)
Behavior: To listen to the male courtship call for this genus, listen here. These courtship calls are not audible to the human ear, and the calls here are produced by recording the substrate vibrations that the treehoppers use to communicate through the plants themselves. The recorded call is then amplified so that it is now audible to human ears. Research has shown that treehoppers use vibrations to attract mates, to announce the discovery of a good feeding site, or to alert a defending mother to the approach of a predator (T.IM).
Comment: Can be attracted at night with a light.

S. diceros is a fairly distinctive member of this genus, but the fairly uncommon S. albescens is the most similar species. In albescens, the pronotum is scantily hairy and has one definite tan band near the apex; in diceros, the pronotum is very pubescent and has 2 well defined dark brown bands with a pale, tan area in between. (Kopp & Yonke, 1973)

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Stictocephala diceros Two-horned Treehopper

Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping. Grassy, weedy area near hardwoods.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping. Grassy, weedy area near hardwoods.
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Spotted on branch