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

Graphocephala coccinea - Red-banded Leafhopper



© Kyle Kittelberger- inland ssp: G. c.
quadrivittata

© Kyle Kittelberger- coastal ssp: G. c. coccinea

© Rob Van Epps- color variation

© Ken Childs- green and red variety
Taxonomy
Family: CICADELLIDAESubfamily: CicadellinaeTribe: CicadelliniSynonym: Graphocephala teliformis
Taxonomic Author: (Forster, J.R., 1771)
Identification
Online Photographs: BugGuide                                                                                  
Description: A medium to large sized Graphocephala, with multiple subspecies and forms. This is a brightly colored species with a reddish to orange scutellum. The color of the non-red stripes is variable among individuals, with colors ranging from blue to turquoise to green. The thickness of the red lines can also vary, from thin and broken to extremely thick. The top of the head is yellowish to orange in color, with the underside of the body yellow, and there is a bold black line going around the side of the face between the eyes. Adult males of G. c. coccinea (coastal subspecies) are typically 5.7-6.2 mm long while females are 6.7-7.3 mm. This subspecies has noticeably thick red lines on the wings, the thickest in this species. Males of G. c. quadrivittata (inland subspecies) are typically 6.6-7.6 mm long while females are 7.2-8.4 mm. Adult males of type "teliformis" are 7.2- 8.5 mm long, with females typically 8.0- 9.1 mm (though longer individuals can occur). Adults of this type range from being green with two contrasting bold red stripes of subequal (almost equal) width to being bluish-green with 3 contrasting red stripes, typically with the outer stripe thin and/or incomplete, to being bluish like typical quadrivittata but larger. Furthermore, there are a number of intermediate forms in this species, particularly between subspecies coccinea and quadrivittata. (Hamilton 1985)
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 common, widespread species recorded from Canada south through the Eastern and Central United States to Panama (BG). G. c. coccinea is found along the Atlantic coast and G. c. quadrivittata is found inland.
Abundance: Common, found throughout the state in a variety of habitats.
Seasonal Occurrence
Jan
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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Found in a variety of habitats, including: grassy areas, mixed hardwood forest edge and forest habitat, brushy areas.
Plant Associates: Adults are polyphagous, found on: Rhus typina, Asclepias syriaca, Ilex sp., Actinomeris squarrosa, Silphium perfoliatum, Impatiens sp., Cannabis sativa, Robinia viscida, Quercus rubra, Platanus sp., Populus sp., Salix, Parthenocissus sp., Vitis sp. (DL); also choke cherry and other woody plants.
Behavior: Can be attracted at night with a light.
Comment: Other common names include Scarlet-and-green Leafhopper and Candystriped Leafhopper.

TAXONOMIC NOTE: G. coccinea could perhaps best be treated as a species complex. It has been a bit of a taxonomic mess for a long time since different authors treat it differently- some authors consider G. teliformis [and G. picta, in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, as well as G. idonea in Central America] as separate species, but most authors treat these as synonyms of G. coccinea. Young (1977) could not find any consistent morphological differences among the various species that he treated as synonyms of coccinea (including teliformis and picta). However, Hamilton (1985) resurrected these two forms to species level based on differences in the shape and sizes of apodemes at the base of the male abdomen, as well as some differences in size and coloration. Per several taxonomic authors in the field, these differences are a bit trivial and do not seem very clear cut (particularly with the apodemes), and morphological data is weak due to overlap between these forms/species in both measurements and color patterns (as mentioned, there are intermediates in this species). Additionally, there is no difference in genetic barcoding between coccinea, picta and teliformis. For these various reasons, we will follow most taxonomic authors in treating teliformis as a synonym of G. coccinea. Perhaps future work on this species 'complex' will shed some additional light, but for the time being it seems coccinea is a highly variable species across the entire spectrum of its range.

Status: Native
Global and State Rank:

Species Photo Gallery for Graphocephala coccinea Red-banded Leafhopper

Photo by: Erich Hofmann
Craven Co.
Comment:
Photo by: R. Newman
Carteret Co.
Comment: FOMA
Photo by: Erich Hofmann
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/88754538
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/89517230
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/82748584
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/83335095
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/81799995
Photo by: Simpson Eason
Durham Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 8 mm female dead on a tree band on oak
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 8 mm female stuck in Tanglefoot on a tree band on Willow Oak
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 8 mm female stuck in Tanglefoot on a tree band on Willow Oak
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 8 mm female stuck in Tanglefoot on a tree band on Willow Oak
Photo by: Kenneth Kneidel
McDowell Co.
Comment: at rest on broad leaf, low vegetation
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/61815281
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/61815281
Photo by: Evelyn Eason
Durham Co.
Comment:
Photo by: B. Bockhahn
Alleghany Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment: 8.75 mm
Photo by: Ken Childs
Out Of State Co.
Comment: 8.75 mm
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Iredell Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping in weedy field. Female. Length 9.2mm.
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Washington Co.
Comment: open forest habitat; 7.2 mm long
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Orange Co.
Comment: Forest edge, shrubby habitat
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Durham Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Durham Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Durham Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: this one was relatively large--around 5 mm long - unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: the second photo is actually from 2 June 2015. - unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: the second photo is actually from 2 June 2015. - unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Vin Stanton
Buncombe Co.
Comment: wooded residential neighborhood
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Ashe Co.
Comment: caught sweeping
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Iredell Co.
Comment: Caught sweeping in weedy field. Female. Length 9.2mm.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Length 7.0mm. Found on weeds in yard.
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: Length 7.0mm. Found on weeds in yard.
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/48185348
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/48185348
Photo by: Margarita Lankford
Orange Co.
Comment: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/48048335
Photo by: K. Bischof
McDowell Co.
Comment: LAJA
Photo by: Mark Shields
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: G. coccinea coccinea
Photo by: B. Fleming
Carteret Co.
Comment: FOMA
Photo by: Simpson Eason
Durham Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; shows greenish blue lines, which eliminates G. coccinea I believe
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: trapped in Tanglefoot on a tree band in a suburban business park, 7.8 mm female
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: trapped in Tanglefoot on a tree band in a suburban business park, 7.8 mm female
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: trapped in Tanglefoot on a tree band in a suburban business park, 7.8 mm female
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: male, 7.6 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: male, 7.6 mm
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: male, 7.6 mm
Photo by: Harry Wilson
Wake Co.
Comment:
Photo by: Harry Wilson
Wake Co.
Comment:
Photo by: k. nealson
Orange Co.
Comment: ENRI
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 7.9mm, suburban forest / athletic field edge
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 7.9mm, suburban forest / athletic field edge
Photo by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment: 7.9mm, suburban forest / athletic field edge
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: male
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger
Wake Co.
Comment: male
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
New Hanover Co.
Comment: open woodlands, pine dominated; male, 6.34 mm, G. c. coccinea
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Tracy S. Feldman
Scotland Co.
Comment: unid_leafhopper
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; male, 7.1 mm of inland ssp.
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; male, 7.1 mm of inland ssp.
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Wake Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; male, 7.1 mm of inland ssp.
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Gates Co.
Comment: grassy habitat on mixed hardwood forest edge; 7.01 mm long, coastal ssp.
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Gates Co.
Comment: grassy habitat on mixed hardwood forest edge; coastal ssp.
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf
Gates Co.
Comment: grassy habitat on mixed hardwood forest edge
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn
Washington Co.
Comment: open forest habitat
Photo by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf
Halifax Co.
Comment: mixed hardwood forest habitat; the inland subspecies, G. c. quadrivittata