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job2458 - Homalodisca ichthyocephala

job2458 - Homalodisca ichthyocephala
Copperas Cove, Coryell County, Texas, USA
May 29, 2009
One of several different leafhoppers I observed on a Sunflower

Moved tentatively
Moved from Glassy-winged Sharpshooter.

This is based on the overall shape of this hopper with a very pronounced "hump" as well as a little bit of the coloration. This species is supposedly known from Texas (as well as Arizona in the states). But this hopper is overexposed with the lighting so a bit hard to say for certain, but the shape looks right for icthyocephala. See:

I'm not so sure...
Hi Kyle,

Recently I've been trying to put all of my thoughts together on this species and the others, and I think this individual might just be vitripennis.

> overall shape of this hopper with a very pronounced "hump"

I don't think this is distinctive, there are many other individuals on iNaturalist and on BugGuide that look the same, e.g. However, it is helpful to rule out individuals that have no hump.

> a little bit of the coloration

This is what I have noticed regarding coloration:

Every individual of ichthyocephala on iNaturalist has the sides of the abdomen white only on the first 2-5 segments, progressively getting smaller, and with distinct black spots on the anterior lower border of the segments, which sometimes turn into the entire anterior border being black. In vitripennis, and shown here, there is only the medial spots. On the ultimate side of the segments in ichthyocephala, there are medial black spots, whereas in vitripennis, and shown here, there is speckled black.

Example of a normal ichthyocephala:

Also, that observation you linked shows the normal ichthyocephala coloration.

The only ichthyocephala specimen that contradicts my findings is the second female shown here:

However, I believe that individual is actually vitripennis either way, due to it not having a pronounced hump, having a lot of speckles on the head and pronotum (contrasting other specimens from nearby), and of course, my abdomen feature.

Please let me know what you think! I'm in the process of creating a multi-access key to this genus in the US/Canada using Identikit, so I really want to figure this out.

for now
for now I believe it is best to keep this record here. I would ignore it for the key you are working on.


Homalodisca vitripennis
The glassy-winged sharpshooter.

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