Explanation of Names
Graphocephala constricta (Hamilton, 1985)
A red and blue-striped species that's nearly identical to G. coccinea. It's a smaller size than coccinea and is restricted to a smaller range. It's crucial to obtain a size and sex of species that look like this within its range in order to obtain an identification.
"I suspect constricta is probably a synonym [of coccinea] based on what has been published, but I have not studied specimens myself." — J. Kits pers. comments to S. Hendrix
This species is very likely a synonym of Graphocephala coccinea—the size difference and variation likely accounts for the geographic isolation of populations—but molecular analysis will be needed to confirm. This is one of a number of Graphocephala species erected by Hamilton 1985 which are likely synonyms of G. coccinea. With the transport of ornamental plants, the range of G. coccinea has expanded and populations are less geographically isolated. The relationship between the two 'species' in ranges of overlap has not been studied. The taxonomic authority used by BugGuide currently accepts constricta as a valid species, so the page will be kept here with identifications based on range and size—that said, we do not believe this species to be distinct from G. coccinea.
Graphocephala coccinea — a common and variable species in the eastern U.S.
Hamilton, K.G.A. 1985. The Graphocephala coccinea Complex in North America (Homoptera, Auchenorryncha, Cicadellidae). Entomologische Abhandlungen 49(6): 105-11.