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Species Balclutha rubrostriata - Red-streaked Leafhopper

Another tiny Leafhopper. - Balclutha rubrostriata Another tiny Leafhopper. - Balclutha rubrostriata Balclutha rubrostriata (Melichar) - Balclutha rubrostriata Leafhopper - Balclutha rubrostriata Leafhopper - Balclutha rubrostriata - female Cicadellidae, dorsal - Balclutha rubrostriata Balclutha rubrostriata Balclutha rubrostriata
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 Deltocephalinae
Tribe Macrostelini
Genus Balclutha
Species rubrostriata (Red-streaked Leafhopper)
Other Common Names
Red-streaked Leafhopper (RSLH)
KR Bluestem Leafhopper (KRBL)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Gnathodus rubrostriatus Melichar 1903
Agellus rufofasciatus Merino 1936
Explanation of Names
Balclutha rubrostriata (Melichar 1903)
rubrostriatus = 'red-streaked'
4.2 mm [specimen illustrated in Zahniser et al. (2011)]
The darkness of the red is variable:
e. US / ne. Mex (BG & iNat data); Native to and widespread in the Old World tropics, introduced to the West Indies, Hawaii, and the US

first known state records by year-month:
1971-04 - Texas: Kleberg Co., Kingsville (coastal s. TX)
1990-04 - Florida: Monroe Co., Upper Key Largo, 3 specimens collected 28 April 1990 (Zahniser et al. 2011); apparently this small(?) population failed to establish.
2012-11 - Louisiana: Rapides Parish (Morgan et al. 2013)
2012-12 - Oklahoma: Mayes Co., Pryor (BG data)
2016-10 - Tennessee: Madison Co., Beech Bluff (BG data) (apparently established in TN)
2016-10 - Wisconsin: Dane Co., Cross Plains (BG data)
2017-10 - Iowa: Winneshiek Co., 100 Acre Wood (BG data)
2017-10 - Pennsylvania: Allegheny Co., Allison Park (BG data)
2017-11 - Indiana: Marion Co., Indianapolis (BG data)
2020-11 - Ontario(!): Wellington Co., Guelph/Eramosa (BG data)
15,000+ spmns found along R.O.W. in San Antonio, Bexar Co., a site dominated by King Ranch bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum). (Zahniser et al. 2011)
Zahniser et al. (2011) ran a malaise trap near Driftwood, Hays Co. in central Texas from January 31, 2006 to August 13, 2006. Samples were collected approx. once every two wks:
Jan 31 to Feb 11 - Present
Feb 12 to May 28 - Absent
May 29 to July 4 - Present
July 5 to Aug 4, 2006 - Abundant
Aug 5 to Aug 13 - Present

Over 15,000 leafhoppers of this species (85% of all invertebrates surveyed) were collected betw. Sept 29 and Oct 19, 2008 on the west side of San Antonio, Bexar Co., Texas. Collection methods included sweep netting, blacklighting and a Malaise trap that ran for 14 days. (The site was a ~500 meter long strip immediately adjacent to Loop 1604, north of US Hwy 90.) (Zahniser et al. 2011)

all records n. of Texas recorded in Oct-Dec (BG data); summer outbreaks in Texas along highways where KR bluestem proliferates, and at times dominates, may facilitates the leafhopper's dispersal to northern states, but see Ghauri (1983) for other potential dispersal mechanisms.
closely asso. w/ King Ranch bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum) (Zahniser et al. 2011)
when sampling on KR Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum; Poaceae), B. rubrostriata was always present along the Texas Gulf coast, but note Morgan et al. (2013) observed no deleterious effects on the invasive grass even when the leafhopper made up 85% of the insects collected from that grass.
Life Cycle
B. rubrostriata (Melichar) was among 12 leafhopper species in Thailand which was detected to carry the phytoplasma associated with sugarcane white leaf disease. (Hanboonsong et al. 2006)
Earliest US record per Zahniser et al. (2011) is a specimen in the INHS Insect Collection with the following label data:
Texas: Kleberg Co.
col. J.E. Gillaspy
at light

First known records from central TX were collected in 2005 from Hays and Travis Counties. (1)
Print References
Blocker, H.D. 1967. Classification of the Western Hemisphere Balclutha (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 122(3581): 1-55.
Ghauri, M.S.K. 1983. A case of long-distance dispersal of a leafhopper, Pp. 249–253 In Proc. 1st Intl. Wkshp. on Biotaxonomy , Classification and Biol. Leafhoppers and Planthoppers (Auchenorrhyncha) of Econ. Importance. (Abstract)
Hanboonsong, Y., W. Ritthison, C. Choosai and P. Sirithorn. 2006. Transmission of sugarcane white leaf phytoplasma by Yamatotettix flavovittatus, a new leafhopper vector. Journal of Economic Entomology 99(5): 1531-1537. (BioOne)
Knight, W.J. 1987. Leafhoppers of the grass-feeding genus Balclutha (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in the Pacific region. Journal of Natural History 21: 1173-1224.
Melichar, L. 1903. Homopteren-Fauna von Ceylon. Berlin. 1-248 pp.
Morgan, A.R., A.J. Smith-Herron, and J.L. Cook. 2013. Rapid spread of Balclutha rubrostriata (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in Texas and southwestern Louisiana, USA with notes on its associated host plants. Florida Entomologist, 96(2): 477-481. (Full Text)
Webb, M.D. & J. Vilaktamath. 1994. Review of the leafhopper genus Balclutha Kirkaldy in the Oriental Region (Insecta: Homoptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae). Entomol. Abh. Mus. Tierkd. (Dresden) 56(3): 55-87.
Zahniser, J.N., S.J. Taylor, and J.K. Krejca. [2010]2011. First reports of the invasive grass-feeding leafhopper Balclutha rubrostriata (Melichar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in the United States. Entomological News 121(2): 132-138. (Full PDF)
Internet References
iNaturalist - iNat
Introduced Bluestem Grasses: Management on Native Lands - Clayton et al., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (PDF)