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Family Cicadellidae - Leafhoppers

Leafhopper - Chlorotettix Sage Leafhopper - Eupteryx melissae Leafhopper - Idiocerus pallidus Leafhopper with two white stripes - Aphrodes Green leafhopper on shrub - Gypona - female brown Leafhopper - Acinopterus aridellus Which Leafhopper is this? - Empoasca Leafhopper - Nionia palmeri - male
Classification
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)
Pronunciation
sik-ah-DELL-ih-dee
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Placed in the superfamily Membracoidea by some authors. Classification in the guide follows Dietrich (2005)(1)
Numbers
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)
Size
2-30 mm, usually under 13 mm
Identification
Key to subfamilies and tribes in(1)
Joe created a simplified key here
Overview of genera (only those represented in the guide are included, arranged alphabetically, with no suprageneric taxa)
Leafhopper Wing Nomenclature
   
Range
worldwide; in NA, some species migrate south in the fall, and back north in the spring
selected checklists and faunal works:(5)
Habitat
nearly every habitat with vascular plants, incl. deserts, grasslands, wetlands, and forests
Season
year-round in the south; spring through fall in the north; some species overwinter as adults beneath leaf litter or matted grasses
Food
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
Remarks
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
(6)