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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

        

Cicadas, Treehoppers, Planthoppers and Leafhoppers (suborder Auchenorrhyncha, order Hemiptera, infraclass Neoptera, subclass Pterygota, class Insecta, subphylum Hexapoda, phylum Arthropoda, kingdom Animalia)

Auchenorrhyncha means literally "neck beak."  Sternorryncha means "breast beak."  Because these insects share  with the "true bugs" of Heteroptera the characteristic beak used to suck fluid from sources it has penetrated, they are now classified as members of the Hemiptera order rather than standing alone in the former order Homoptera.

The higher taxonomic classifications on this page are based on information from Tree of Life Web Project.   Andy Hamilton, an expert in this field, provided many insect identifications for this page.

Planthoppers (superfamily Fulgoroidea, infraorder Fulgoromorpha)

Fulgorid Planthoppers (Fulgoridae family)

       
Fulgorid Planthopper (Calyptoproctus marmoratus), about 15 mm long.  Durham, NC, 7/15/10.  Photo taken at night.  ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban.        

Cixiid Planthoppers (Cixiidae family)

 
Cixiid planthopper, Durham, NC, 6/30/12 Planthopper (Haplaxius pictifrons), Durham, NC, 6/15/14.  ID thanks to John S. Ascher.  

Derbid Planthoppers (Derbidae family)

   
Derbid Planthopper (Otiocerus wolfei), Durham, 9/13/07 Derbid planthopper (Mysidia missisippiensis), about 20 mm wingspread, seemed white at a distance, had partially transparent wings.  ID thanks to Steven Bren.   Derbid planthopper (Mysidia mississippiensis), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 7/14/13    

Dictyopharid Planthoppers (Dictyopharidae family)

         
Dictyopharid Planthopper (Rhynchomitra microrhina), Durham, NC, 8/2/15          

Issid Planthoppers (Issidae family)

         
Issid Planthopper (Thionia bullata), about 4 mm long.  Look at those big eyes: it definitely saw me coming!   ID thanks to Andy Hamilton. Issid planthopper (Thionia genus) nymph, Durham, NC, 6/22/15          

Acanaloniid Planthoppers (Acanaloniidae family)
     
Acanaloniid Planthopper (Acanalonia conica), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC   7/22/07 Acanaloniid Planthopper (Acanalonia conica), Durham, NC, 7/24/15 Acanaloniid Planthopper (Acanalonia bivittata), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/28/05.      

Acanaloniid Planthopper nymphs

At least some planthopper nymphs eventually cover themselves with some filmy white material for camouflage.  They show up on struggling plants.  However, sometimes Wheel Bug nymphs catch on -- and catch them.

Acanalonid planthopper nymph, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 7/15/07.  This bold nymph looked ready to use fight rather than flight.  This little insect was about 1 mm long.  Acanaloniid planthopper nymph, Durham, 6/30/08.  Note the ridges in the rear part (where the white "tail" is). This is what happens to the white stuff: it eventually covers the nymph, but you can make out its basic features.  The head is on the right; you can see the ridged rear half in the center.  This was one of many acanaloniid planthopper nymphs. clustered together.


       
Acanalonid planthopper nymph, showing where the white stuff comes out.  Durham, NC, 7/7/08        

Flatid Planthoppers (Flatidae family)

       
Adult Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa), NC Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 7/17/09 Adult Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa), Durham, NC, 8/15/09.  This one had seen a lot of action, looked like an old rug up close.        

Flatid planthopper nymphs, Durham, NC, 6/13/15. The white stuff is growing in multiple places on its body. Flatid Planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 7/6/07.  You can see a couple of little legs near the top. Flatid Planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/8/09 Flatid Planthopper nymph (dorsal view, head on bottom) in full camouflage regalia.  Head is at bottom, "tail" at top. Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 6/20/06 Flatid Planthopper nymph (ventral view), Durham, 7/13/06 Wheel Bug nymph (late instar) eating what appears to be a Flatid Planthopper nymph.  Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 6/23/05.

Cicadas (family Cicadidae, superfamily Cicadoidea, infraorder Cicadomorpha)

Male cicadas make a very loud grating alarm sound by vibrating their tymbals, membranes in their abdomens.  We first hear dog-day cicadas buzzing during the first really hot days of summer.  In 2007, that wasn't until early August, when the temperature soared above 100 F many if not most days of that month.  Dog-day cicadas are apparently named for their tendency to emerge into buzzing adulthood during the most stultifying heat of the year.  On the other hand, May 2011 was the month 13-year periodical cicadas emerged and they are expected to be gone in a month.

13-year periodical cicada (Magicicada tredecim), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11. 13-year periodical cicada, recent metamorph, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11. 13-year periodical cicada exuvia and adult.  Notice tiny beetle? on the exuvia. Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, 5/18/11 13-year periodical cicada: adult and exuvia, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11. 13-year periodical cicada with damaged wing, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11. 13-year periodical cicada exuviae, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11.
         


         
Mating Thirteen-year Periodical Cicadas.  Copyright Mary Ross Withrow          

 

Southern Dog-day Cicada (Tibicen davisi), Lake Crabtree County Park, 9/12/02. These mating Southern Dog-day Cicadas fell out of a Durham, NC tree on 8/3/08. Southern Dog-day Cicada, Durham, 7/27/05.  This noisy, lively, rather large cicada appeared on my deck at night. This Southern Dog-day Cicada had caught its wings on grass blades trying to take off.  You can see all four wings here.  Durham, 9/22/07 Southern Dog-day Cicada, Durham, 8/21/06.  This cicada was full of vim and vigor on the deck that night, buzzing wildly and noisily around.  To judge from the noise produced, this was definitely a male.

 

 
Southern Dog-day Cicada fighting off a Cicada Killer attack, Indian Creek Trail, Chatham County, NC, 8/2/05.  The cicada was very noisy as the two bounced around for quite some time. Cicada nymph, most likely a Southern Dog-day Cicada.  You can see wing pads on its side.  Durham, NC, 8/11/10.  This nymph had only a little clay on it, on the pronotum.   Probably a Southern Dog-day Cicada nymph, Durham, NC, 8/15/07.  You can tell from all the clay stuck to this nymph that it recently came up out of the ground.

Treehoppers (family Membracidae, superfamily Membracoidea, infraorder Cicadomorpha)

Thornbug (Umbonia crassicornis)

   
Thornbug (Umbonia crassicornis), Museum of Life and Science, Durham, NC, 6/6/05.  This is a tropical insect imported by the Museum.    

Treehopper (Telamona monticola)
Members of this genus eat oak leaves.
         
Treehopper (Telamona monticola, formerly thought to be T. decorata), with what appears to be an early instar true bug nymph, which apparently was attacking it.  Durham, NC, 5/6/09. Same treehopper departing with nymph. 
 
         

Oak Treehoppers (Platycotis vittata)
Oak Treehopper (Platycotis vittata), Hanging Rock State Park, Stokes County, NC, 5/22/08.  That's a pants leg it's hanging onto. Oak Treehopper (Platycotis vittata), the dark type, Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, Moore County, NC, 1/9/13 Oak Treehopper (Platycotis vittata), the dark variety, Durham, NC, 12/14/12 Oak Treehopper  nymph, Duke Forest, Korstian Division, Orange County, NC, 5/3/06.  This is the only one of its species and probably its genus I've ever seen.  Nevertheless, Stephen Cresswell, who identified it, apparently sees them all the time!  Order a product with this photo at our online store. Same oak treehopper nymph, dorsal view.

Campylenchia latipes

 
Treehopper (Campylenchia latipes), Occoneechee Mountain, Orange County, NC, 10/4/07.  

Ant with a treehopper (Campylenchia latipes), Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 6/10/06. Carpenter ants cultivate treehoppers for their honeydew.

Buffalo Treehopper (Ceresa alta)

 
Buffalo Treehopper, Durham, NC, 6/26/11 Buffalo Treehopper, Durham, NC, 6/16/08 Buffalo Treehopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/14/14  

Entylia carinata
   
Treehopper (Entylia carinata), Durham, NC, 5/10/08 Treehopper (Entylia carinata), Daniel Boone Gardens, Boone, NC, Watauga County, NC, 7/8/11    

Acutalis tartarea
   
Treehopper (Acutalis tartarea), Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, 6/20/08    

Froghoppers/Spittlebugs (superfamily Cercopoidea, infraorder Cicadomorpha)

As nymphs, they are known as spittlebugs because of their bubbly disguise; as adults they are known as froghoppers.

Diamond-backed Spittlebug (Lepyronia quadrangularis, Cercopidae family)

 
Diamondback Froghopper, Durham, NC, 10/12/12 Diamond-backed Spittlebug (Lepyronia quadrangularis) adult, Asheville, NC, 7/9/05.   This was at most half an inch long. Diamond-backed Spittlebug adult, Durham, 7/18/05.  Probably the same kind of froghopper as the one on the left.  Does kind of have that froggy look! Diamond-backed Spittlebug, Durham, NC, 8/28/08 

Common Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius)
         
Common Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius).  ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.  This color is unusual for the species.  Natural Bridge area (roadside, ~1000 feet in elevation), Rockbridge County, VA, 7/8/09.   Common Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius).  ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.   This is a common coloring in this somewhat variable species.  Harkening Hill, Peaks of Otter Recreational Area, Bedford County, VA, 7/9/09. Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius), the nymph form of froghoppers, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Durham County, NC, 6/23/05.         

Two-lined Froghopper (Prosapia bicincta)

Two-lined Froghopper, Durham, NC, 8/24/09 Two-lined Froghopper (Prosapia bicincta), Macon County, NC, 8/9/05.  Two-lined Froghopper (Prosapia bicincta), Durham, 9/23/05.  Found in my local marsh on a cattail leaf. Two-lined Froghoppers, Airlie Gardens, Wilmington, New Hanover County, NC, 6/23/06

Clastoptera genus, Clastopteridae family

       
Spittlebug (Clastoptera genus), Julian Price Memorial Park, Watauga County, NC, 7/7/11 Spittlebug (Clastoptera genus), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 1/13/14        

Mystery Hopper Nymph

Mystery hopper nymph, Indian Creek Wildlife Observation Trail, a Jordan Lake Game Land, Chatham County, NC, 4/19/06.  This insect was about inch long.

Leafhoppers (family Cicadellidae, superfamily Cicadelloidea, infraorder Cicadomorpha)

Subfamily Deltocephalinae

Stirellus bicolor

         
Stirellus bicolor, Durham, NC, 8/21/09          

Balclutha impicta

       
Durham, NC, 6/24/09.  A tiny leafhopper, only 2 mm long, and very lively.  Photo was taken at night.        

Macrosteles quadrilineatus

 
Leafhopper (Macrosteles quadrilineatus) nymph and adult, Durham, NC, 8/15/07.  These were two of hundreds of such leafhopper in what used to be a swamp in my neighborhood before a currently long drought.  The leaf they were on belonged to one of many succulent plants with yellow flowers.  

Texananus genus
   
Leafhopper (Texananus genus, Iowanus subgenus, species either longipennis or majestus, Durham, NC, 9/13/07.  Genus and subgenus ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.    

Deltocephalus sonorus
   
Leafhopper (Deltocephalus sonorus) and exuvia    

Exitianus exitiosis
   
Leafhopper (Exitianus exitiosis), Carolina Beach, NC, 6/26/08.  ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.    

Osbornellus genus
 
Leafhopper (Osbornellus genus), Durham, NC, 7/5/10.  Photo taken at night. Leafhopper (Osbornellus limosus), Durham, NC, 6/15/08.  Photo taken at night. Leafhopper (probably Osbornellus genus), Durham, NC, 8/10/08 Leafhopper (Osbornellus borealis), Durham, NC, 6/13/09.  Photo taken at night.  

Bandara genus
         
Leafhopper (Bandara genus), Durham, NC, 8/14/08          

Orientus genus

         
Japanese Leafhopper (Orientus ishidae) nymph, Durham, NC, 6/6/09          

Subfamily Typhlocybinae
   
Leafhopper (Erythroneura comes), Durham, NC, 8/10/08. Photo taken at night. Leafhopper (Erythroneura osborni), Durham, NC, 8/10/08.  Photo taken at night.    

Subfamily Cicadellinae

Evacanthus ustanucha

Leafhopper (Evacanthus ustanucha), Craggy Mountain, Macon County, NC, 7/8/05.  These leafhoppers were common in the wooded side of the mountain near the summit, although I've never seen them anywhere else.  According  to Andy Hamilton, who IDed it (and in fact named the species in 1983), it has only been seen seen on Mt. Mitchell and Chestnut Bald (in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains) before. See relevant BugGuide page..

Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (Homalisca vitripennis)

Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis), West Point on the Eno, Durham, NC, 7/3/07.  ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.

Oncometopia orbona

Sharpshooter (Oncometopia orbona), Durham, NC, 7/6/07 Sharpshooter (Oncometopia orbona) Sharpshooter (Oncometopia orbona), Durham, 4/14/06, according to the Tree of Life Web Project Auchenorrhyncha page.  This one turned up on the back wall of my house at 9:25 pm. Sharpshooter (Oncometopia orbona, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Rd. access, 2/28/06.  This critter was  about inch long and looked as though its wings were yellow and black when flying.  I first saw one of these that year on 1/12. Late-instar nymph of the species on left (Oncometopia orbona).  I saw an adult try to protect a nymph by moving next to it and placing its leg over it, but couldn't get a photo. Sharpshooter nymph (Oncometopia orbona), Durham, NC, 6/21/14

Speckled Sharpshooter (Paraulacizes irrorata)

Speckled Sharpshooter (Paraulacizes irrorata), Durham, NC, 5/18/08

Draeculacephala zeae

Leafhopper (Draeculacephala zeae), Durham, NC, 6/13/05.  Found on leaves of cattails in my neighborhood swamp.  This ITIS  recognizes the validity of this taxon. Leafhopper (Draeculacephala zeae), Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06.  This leafhopper showed up on the beach near the water.

Sibovia genus

Leafhopper (Sibovia genus), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 4/20/06 Leafhopper (Sibovia genus), Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 7/30/05 Leafhopper (Sibovia occatoria), Duke Gardens (Asian section), Durham, 7/19/05. Leafhopper (Sibovia occatoria), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 6/17/06

Graphocephala genus

Leafhopper (Grapho-cephala versuta), Durham, NC, 6/17/07.  Leafhopper (Graphocephala versuta), Jordan Lake Gamelands, Chatham County, NC, 7/12/15 Leafhopper (Graphocephala versuta),  Durham, 6/30/08.  Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea), Durham, NC, 8/21/08

Subfamily Macropsinae
         
Leafhopper (Oncopsis citra)          

Subfamily Coelidiinae

Jikradia olitoria

         
Leafhopper (Jikradia olitoria), Durham, NC, 9/20/09 Leafhopper (Jikradia olitoria), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 8/12/07    

Leafhopper nymphs (Coelidia olitoria)

 
Leafhopper nymph, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 5/21/09 Leafhopper nymph, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/24/08 Leafhopper nymph (Coelidia olitoria), Durham, NC, 7/1/15      

Subfamily Gyponinae

Leafhopper (Gyponana cacumina), Durham, 8/11/06.  A large leafhopper, about half an inch long.  Taken at night. Leafhopper (Ponana punticollis), about 10 mm long.  Photo taken at night in Durham, NC, on 8/17/10.

Subfamily Idiocerinae
       
Leafhopper (Idiocerus lunaris), Durham, NC, 5/1/07        

Mystery Hoppers

Durham, 6/20/05.  This unusual leafhopper seems to be an albino, or could be freshly emerged from a molt.  It was about half an inch long.

 

Mystery hopper, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 6/1507 Mystery hopper River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 6/23/05

Exuvia

This leafhopper exuvia got left behind at Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC on 7/15/06 when a leafhopper molted.

Copyright 2005-2010 Dorothy E. Pugh

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