Hoppers of North Carolina:
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CICADELLIDAE Members: NC Records

Hymetta trifasciata - No Common Name

© Ken Childs- note dark x-band 2

© Ken Childs- note x-band 1 shape

© Ken Childs

© Kyle Kittelberger
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: TyphlocybinaeTribe: Erythroneurini
Taxonomic Author: (Say, 1825)
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A boldly patterned species that can vary in darkness. Adults have a pale yellowish-white body; the head and pronotum are largely a pale white color, sometimes with dull sanguineous spots present. The wings have a whitish base color, with three crossbands (see comments section below for crossband info). The first crossband is strongly narrowed along the costal margin; this band is quite dark and can have a reddish anterior border. The second crossband consists of a series of broken dark marks. The third crossband is the bold, dark diagonal lines across the apical cells of the wings. There are some scattered red dots across the wings, mostly between the first two crossbands; there are very few if any spots before the first crossband. The costal plaque is chalky white (the bright white rectangular mark between the two crossbands, on the costal margin. Adults are 3.0-3.4 mm long, with an average of 3.2 mm. (Fairbairn, 1928)

For 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: Eastern and central United States (3I)
Abundance: Rare but probably overlooked due to confusion with H. balteata. Recorded from a couple counties in the Piedmont, probably more abundant in the right habitat.
Seasonal Occurrence
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Has been found in mixed hardwood forest.
Plant Associates: Vitis sp., Redbud (Cercis canadensis) (3I)
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: Hymetta can be a challenging genus to identify. There are a number of forms for species and a lot of variation therefore in color and pattern, causing some individuals to look like other species. It is helpful to understand Hymetta wing patterning when trying to distinguish between species. There are three crossbands on the wing. Crossband #1 is located past the apex of the scutellum, across the base of the wings; this crossband often has an arched median section. Crossband #2 is a less distinct, dusky to reddish transverse wavy broken band that crosses the wing before the crossveins of the apical cells; this crossband is not present in all species. Crossband #3 is a dusky to blackish oblique (diagonal) band across the apical cells, forming an upside-down "V" when viewed from above.

H. trifasciata is most likely to be confused with H. balteata. Both species have a bold, dark crossband #3. However, there are several key differences that can be used to separate the two species.

- trifasciata tends to be on average smaller than other Hymettas; overall small size is an indication that an individual could be trifasciata.

- trifasciata tends to have relatively few reddish flecks and dots on the corium and sometimes the clavus [parts of the wings] compared to some balteata, though this is not always the case; the speckling also tends to be paler. The base of the wing, between the first crossband and the thorax, is typically unspotted with sometimes only several spots along the fissure (inside margin of the wings). Heavily spotted individuals that have spots across this base region of the wing are likely to be balteata.

- in trifasciata, the first crossband on the wing is strongly narrowed on the costal margin, enlarging further into the wing. In balteata, the crossband is at most slightly narrowed at the costal margin, often times not narrowed at all. Additionally, the overall shape of the band differs. In balteata, there tends to be a sharp triangular projection on the anterior margin of the band, lacking in trifasciata. Additionally, in trifasciata the band tends to be relatively straight or slightly downcurving towards the interior raised section of the band on the upper margins of the band, resulting in a stronger difference in 'height' between the two sections of this band.

- in trifasciata, crossband #2 is clearer and more defined, and therefore darker than in other species. There is a noticeable broken band on trifasciata which is lacking in balteata.

(Fairbairn, 1928)

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Hymetta trifasciata No Common Name

Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light . Stayed entire night on sheet var. mediana
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light . Stayed entire night on sheet var. mediana
Photo by: Paul Scharf
Warren Co.
Comment: Attracted to Black Light . Stayed entire night on sheet var. mediana
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: grassy habitat and mixed hardwood forest edge var. mediana
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.