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

Oncopsis abietis - No Common Name



© Kyle Kittelberger- male; note coloration

© Kyle Kittelberger- female; note windowed wings

© Kyle Kittelberger- female

© Kyle Kittelberger- female (7% color form)
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: EurymelinaeTribe: MacropsiniSubgenus: Oncopsis
Taxonomic Author: (Fitch, 1851)
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A dark leafhopper with a distinctive color pattern in both sexes. Males are very dark, with almost completely black wings with a small white spot down the middle of the commissure (inner edge of the wings). The pronotum is a tawny color with lots of black speckling, the scutellum is a dark red. The face is quite distinctive, yellowish overall with black on the lower third and two black bands across the upper part between the eyes; this forms somewhat of a pale circular area surrounded by black on the face. The lateral sides of the lower part of the face are also black. Females come in several color forms, typical of members of this genus. The most common color form (about 68% of individuals) has mostly black wings with two white "windows" on each wing; the clavus (inner segment of the wings) is a contrasting ferruginous color. The scutellum, pronotum, and face are also largely reddish-brown or ferruginous while the legs are mottled with black (there is some black on the face as well) in this common form; the clypeus (lower part of the face) is contrastingly black. In 25% of females, the wings are marked with brown rather than black while the rest of the color pattern on the body remains the same as the more common form. In the least common color form, 7% of females, the entire face, pronotum, scutellum, legs, and dark areas of the wings are ferruginous. The female pregenital sternite is tapered, with a posterior margin that is slightly produced on either side of a shallow median notch. Adult males are 4.6-5.1 mm long, while females are 4.4-5.1 mm. (Hamilton 1983)

Nymphs are stramineous in color, with fuscous coloration on the head, pronotum, base of the wing pads, and on the anterior and lateral margins of the abdominal segments. (Hamilton 1983)

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: Primarily eastern North America, ranging from the Northeast and southeastern Canada south into the Appalachians, at least as far south as North Carolina; also found across Canada into the Pacific Northwest (Hamilton 1983)
Abundance: Recorded from the mountains where it is locally common; should be found throughout the mountains.

There are several records, 1 from Mt. Mitchell and 2 from Highlands, Macon Co., that have been excluded as they may have been mislabeled/misidentified.

Seasonal Occurrence
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found in grassy, brushy vegetation surrounded by montane forest; forest edge.
Plant Associates: Many birches (Betula sp.), including: yellow birch (B. alleghaniensis), paper birch (B. papyrifera), water birch (B. occidentalis), sweet birch (B. lenta), and black birch (B. nigra). (Hamilton 1983)
Behavior:
Comment: To identify males of this species through pictures, a view of the facial pattern is needed. Hamilton notes "the bold facial pattern of the male and the striking color pattern of the female render specimens of abietis" distinguishable from other Oncopsis species (Hamilton 1983).
Status: Native
Global and State Rank:
See also Habitat Account for General Montane Mesic Forests

Species Photo Gallery for Oncopsis abietis No Common Name

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: female
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Out Of State Co.
Comment: female
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Mitchell Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy vegetation in the open on the top of the mountain; the bald. A male
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy and brushy vegetation surrounded by forest; male and female
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy and brushy vegetation surrounded by forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy and brushy vegetation surrounded by forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Watauga Co.
Comment: brushy, grassy vegetation surrounded by forest; female