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

Aphrophora gelida - Boreal Spittlebug



© Kyle Kittelberger- side view; note body pattern

© Kyle Kittelberger- top view

© Kyle Kittelberger
Taxonomy
Family: APHROPHORIDAE
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A striking spittlebug, this species can have a variable color pattern consisting of a combination of red/rufous, black, and white; this pattern can help differentiate this species from the similar Pine_Spittlebug. In addition, the wings are narrower and the head shorter compared to Pine Spittlebug BG. Wings and rest of the body are heavily pitted, characteristic of members of this genus. Males have divergent, finger-like plates. Adult males are 8.5-10.0 mm long, females are 9.2-10.8 mm. (Hamilton, 1982)

Nymphs of this species have a bright red abdomen and dark, blackish head.

Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Distribution: A common and widespread boreal species that ranges south in the Appalachians to North Carolina.
Abundance: Uncommon in North Carolina. This species has been recorded from several counties in the mountains; likely more abundant in the mountains in the right habitat.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: High elevation, montane forests
Plant Associates: Nymphs have been found on grape viens (Vitis sp.), goldenrod (Solidago sp.), and Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium). Adults are general feeders on conifers, including: pines (Pinus sp.), spruces (Picea sp.), tamarack (Larix laricina), and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). (Hamilton, 1982)
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: This is the only spittlebug species east of the Rocky Mountains that indulges in wild, variable color patterns such as seen here.
Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Aphrophora gelida Boreal Spittlebug

Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Yancey Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Watauga Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy area on mixed forest edge
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Watauga Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy area on mixed forest edge
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy and vegetated, shrubby habitat surrounded by forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy and vegetated, shrubby habitat surrounded by forest
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy and vegetated, shrubby habitat surrounded by forest