Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Membracidae - Treehoppers

Buffalo treehopper - Stictocephala tauriniformis Another treehopper - Telamona Little Armored Nymph - Carynota Please help us to identify this guy. - Cyrtolobus Telamona ampelopsidis Palonica nogalana Ball - Palonica nogalana Carynota mera ? Entylia carinata ? - Entylia carinata
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 Membracidae (Treehoppers)
Other Common Names
Thorn Bugs
Pronunciation
mem-BRAY-ci-dee
Explanation of Names
from Greek membrax (μεμβραξ) 'a kind of cicada'(1)
Numbers
266 spp. in ~60 genera in our area(2), ~3,500 spp. in ~430 genera worldwide, arranged in 9 subfamilies and dozens of tribes(3)(4)
checklists of local faunas:(5)(6)(7)(8) --more sources listed in(9)
Overview of our fauna* –taxa not yet in the guide; questionable records omitted
Family MEMBRACIDAE
Subfamily CENTROTINAE
Subfamily DARNINAE
Subfamily STEGASPIDINAE
Subfamily MEMBRACINAE
Subfamily SMILIINAE
Not placed to tribe: Antianthe · Tropidarnis

genera not yet in the guide:
Antonae Stål 1867 [1 sp., WA-CA]
Aphetea Fowler 1895 [1 sp., CA]
Ashmeadea Goding 1892 [1 sp., AZ]
Darnis Fabricius 1803 [1 sp., CA]
Membracis Fabricius 1775 [2 spp., CA FL]
Scalmophorus Fowler 1894 [1 sp., AZ]
Tumecauda Goding 1930 [1 sp., AZ]
questionable records: Bolbonota Amyot & Serville 1843 [1 sp., ?FL], Notocera Amyot & Serville 1843 [1 sp., ?CO], Trachytalis Fowler 1895 [1 sp., ?CA])
Size
2-20 mm (mostly under 12 mm)(10)
Identification
differ from related families in having a large pronotum that extends back over the abdomen and (often) covers the head; many species appear humpbacked or thorn-like; others have spines, horns or keels

illustrated checklist of FL spp. in(6)
Membracidae of Texas - Mike Quinn, 2017
Food
Most spp. are host-specific and feed on trees and shrubs, some on herbaceous plants
Life Cycle
Eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring. Nymphs drop to the ground. They return to trees to lay eggs. Most species are solitary, but many occur in groups or clusters and exhibit presocial behavior--adults often stay near nymphs, tending them. Many have mutualistic relationships with ants--the ants fend off predators and/or parasites and collect sugary fluid secreted by the hoppers.
Remarks
Only a few species are considered pests; most of the damage is caused by egg-laying