35 spp. described in our area(1)
, many undescribed; ~80 total(2)
It has nearly been a century since this genus received a comprehensive taxonomic review. Because of this, identification is very difficult for many species and the identifications seen here are not definitive (especially species that occur in the west). There is a very large number of undescribed species and the characters used to differentiate many of them are exceptionally subtle; some so subtle that experts may not be able to determine certain species even with the specimen on hand.
These species are sometimes treated within provisional groupings—the lineatocollis group, obtusa group, and proteus group. These groups were erected by Andy Hamilton to organize the species under the original names that were applied to many of the species before they were split up (for example, everything under the obtusa group was once called obtusa at a time). While the lineatocollis group appears to be a valid species complex, the obtusa and proteus groups seem much more arbitrary especially as more species are being described from the U.S. showing the genus is much more complex than these three groupings and requires further investigation.
For the purpose of organization, we have made provisional species complex to house groups of species which are difficult to separate from each other through photos alone. The arborina, ovata, and querci complexes are not published taxonomic groups. We have included the published lineatocollis group here since many of those species cannot be differentiated.
Note that species listed as undescribed are likely undescribed, but their status as undescribed species is not absolutely certain, save for the Louisiana querci-complex species.
Doering, K. C. 1928. The genus Clastoptera
in America north of Mexico. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 18(1): 11–153. (Biodiversity Heritage Library
Hamilton, K. G. A. 1977. A new Clastoptera from sagebrush (Rhynchota: Homoptera: Cercopidae). Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 74: 38–41.
Hamilton, K. G. A. 1978. On the identity of Clastoptera arborina and a new related species (Rhynchota: Homoptera: Cercopidae). Canadian Entomologist 110: 335–336.
Hamilton, K. G. A. 2015. A new tribe and species of Clastopterinae (Hemiptera: Cercopoidea: Clastopteridae) from Africa,
Asia and North America. Zootaxa 3946(2): 151–189.
Nguyen, T. C., Rightmyer, M. G., and Engel, M. S. 2001. On the identity of the spittlebug Clastoptera lawsoni Doering (Homoptera: Cercopidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 74(4): 237–242.
Thompson, V., Halbert S. E., and Rothschild, M. 2020. A new species of the spittlebug genus Clastoptera Germar (Hemiptera: Cercopoidea: Clastopteridae) on Florida oaks. Insecta Mundi 0796: 1–16.
Wheeler, A. G., and Kramer, J. P. 1983. Clastoptera laenata, first eastern United States records and first U.S. host association (Homoptera: Cercopidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 85(1): 55–58.