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

Macrosteles parvidens - No Common Name



© Ken Childs- note head pattern

© Ken Childs- note 4 spots on head

© Ken Childs- variation

© Kyle Kittelberger- note facial spots
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: Deltocephalinae
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: This is a highly variable species, with color (primarily on the wings) ranging from green to blackish to heavily patterned. The head pattern is also variable; adults typically have 4 bold black spots on the head, 2 on the edge of the vertex and 2 further in between the eyes. However, some individuals have a small spot in front of the inner ones (males), and others can have a black bar on the edge of the vertex that connects the median spots with an additional smaller spot on the side of the eyes. Furthermore, there are 2 bold black spots beginning on the scutellum and continuing under the pronotum, and an additional central dark spot can be present under the pronotum, between the other two spots. The female pregenital sternite has a small triangular median notch; the rest of the posterior margin is relatively straight. Adult males are 3.4-3.7 mm long, while females are 3.7-4.2 mm. (Kwon 2010)
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: Eastern and central North America
Abundance: Several records across the state, seemingly more abundant in the mountains; probably more abundant in the right habitat.
Seasonal Occurrence
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found in brushy, grassy areas.
Plant Associates:
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: This species is quite similar to M. lepidus and an identification can be challenging between the two; it is therefore important for either a detailed, clear view of the head to show the markings or a nice image of the female pregenital sternite. M. lepidus has 6 prominent, bold spots on the head while M. parvidens has 4, though some parvidens can have a small black spot on the side of the head next to the eye (usually connected with a black bar on the edge of the vertex to the median spots); this additional black spot though does not extend half way along the length of the eye like in lepidus. The size of the black spots on the edge of the vertex are also typically noticeably larger in lepidus. Additionally, lepidus tends to have a head that has a shorter width between the eyes than parvidens. Finally, the female pregenital sternite is distinctive between these two species: in lepidus, there is a broad but shallow median notch and lobed posterior margins, while in parvidens there is a small triangular median notch and no lobed margins.

This species was previously known as M. variatus until very recently; variatus is an Old World species. The species formerly in the "variatus" complex are similar to one another visually, with slight differences in head pattern; parvidens is the only member of the "variatus" complex found south of the Northeastern United States.

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Macrosteles parvidens No Common Name

Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: female
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Clay Co.
Comment: male; 3.7 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Clay Co.
Comment: male; 3.7 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Clay Co.
Comment: male; 3.7 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Clay Co.
Comment: male; 3.7 mm
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy habitat and forest edge/interior
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Avery Co.
Comment: grassy, brushy habitat and forest edge/interior