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Species Graphocephala constricta

red and blue leafhopper - Graphocephala constricta Graphocephala - Graphocephala constricta CNC1197462 - Graphocephala constricta - male CNC1197462 - Graphocephala constricta - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (True Hoppers)
Infraorder Cicadomorpha (Cicadas, Spittlebugs, Leafhoppers, and Treehoppers)
Superfamily Membracoidea (Leafhoppers and Treehoppers)
Family Cicadellidae (Typical Leafhoppers)
Subfamily Cicadellinae (Sharpshooters)
Tribe Cicadellini
Genus Graphocephala
No Taxon (subgenus Graphocephala)
Species constricta (Graphocephala constricta)
Explanation of Names
Graphocephala constricta (Hamilton, 1985)
6.2-7.4 mm
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. See Graphocephala coccinea for more information about this potential species complex.
"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. comm. 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.
See Also
Graphocephala coccinea — a common and variable species in the eastern U.S.
Print References
Hamilton, K.G.A. 1985. The Graphocephala coccinea Complex in North America (Homoptera, Auchenorryncha, Cicadellidae). Entomologische Abhandlungen 49(6): 105-11.