Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
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Family Cicadellidae - Leafhoppers

Leafhopper - Texananus Cicadellidae -? - Peconus scriptanus bug - Oncopsis quebecensis Leafhopper - Draeculacephala Leafhopper - Coelidia olitoria Green Leafhopper with Some Red - Gyponana octolineata Balclutha nymph V - Balclutha Leafhopper
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Free-living Hemipterans)
Superfamily Cicadoidea (Cicadas, Leafhoppers, and Treehoppers)
Family Cicadellidae (Leafhoppers)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Placed in the superfamily Membracoidea by some authors. Classification in the guide follows Dietrich (2005)(1)
about 3,000 described species in NA, ca. 22,000 described species worldwide (estimated global diversity >100,000 spp.) arranged into ~25 subfamilies and almost 60 tribes(1)(2)
~80 spp. in Yukon(3)
>500 spp. in QC (checklist)(4)
2-30 mm, usually under 13 mm
Key to subfamilies and tribes in(1)
Overview of genera (only those represented in the guide are included, arranged alphabetically, with no suprageneric taxa)
Leafhopper Wing Nomenclature
worldwide; in NA, some species migrate south in the fall, and back north in the spring
selected checklists and faunal works:(5)
nearly every habitat with vascular plants, incl. deserts, grasslands, wetlands, and forests
year-round in the south; spring through fall in the north; some species overwinter as adults beneath leaf litter or matted grasses
nymphs and adults feed on sap of above-ground stems or leaves of plants; some species are more host-specific than others
Life Cycle
varies according to species; in general, female inserts several eggs into living tissue of host plant; eggs either remain dormant for a period ranging from a month to over a year, or develop and hatch within a few weeks; nymphs undergo five molts, reaching adult stage in several weeks or months
Leafhoppers coat their bodies and wings with a light dusting of water-repellent waxy material (brochosomes), sometimes distributed unevenly as bilaterally asymmetric whitish streaks [Dr Hamilton's comment]
Leafhoppers have sound-producing organs (tymbals) at the base of abdomen (songs usually too faint for human ear)
Several species are serious crop pests; some transmit plant pathogens (viruses, mycoplasma-like organisms, etc.)
See Also
Spittle bugs (Cercopidae) look similar but lack rows of spines on the hind tibiae
Internet References