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Cicadas, Treehoppers, Planthoppers and Leafhoppers (suborder Auchenorrhyncha, order Hemiptera, infraclass Neoptera, subclass Pterygota, class Insecta, subphylum Hexapoda, phylum Arthropoda, kingdom Animalia

Auchenorrhyncha means literally "neck beak."  Sternorryncha means "breast beak."  Because these insects share  with the "true bugs" of Heteroptera the characteristic beak used to suck fluid from sources it has penetrated, they are now classified as members of the Hemiptera order rather than standing alone in the former order Homoptera.

Andy Hamilton, an expert in this field, provided many insect identifications for this page.

Planthoppers (superfamily Fulgoroidea, infraorder Fulgoromorpha)

Fulgorid Planthoppers (Fulgoridae family)

Fulgorid Planthopper (Calyptoproctus marmoratus), about 15 mm long.  Durham, NC, 7/15/10.  Photo taken at night.  ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban.        

Tropiduchid Planthoppers (Tropiduchidae family)

Tropiduchid planthopper (Pelitropis rotulata). ID thanks to Vassily Belov.  Durham, NC, 9/29/21          

Cixiid Planthoppers (Cixiidae family)

Planthopper (Haplaxius pictifrons), Durham, NC, 6/15/14.  ID thanks to John S. Ascher. Cixid planthopper (Melionarus placitus), Durham, NC, 5/10/20 Cixiid planthopper (Melanoliarus placitus), Durham, NC, 6/15/12. Genus ID thanks to  Brad Barnd, and species ID to Solomon Hendrix. Cixiid planthopper (Melionarus placitus), Durham, NC, 7/11/17 Cixiid planthopper (Melanoliarus aridus), Durham, NC, 6/30/12  

Delphicid Planthoppers (Delphicidae family)

Planthopper (Criomorphus genus), Durham, NC, 3/11/12 Planthopper (Criomorphus genus), Durham, NC, 11/20/20 Planthopper (Criomorphus genus), Durham, NC, 10/16/21          

Derbid Planthoppers (Derbidae family)

Derbid Planthopper (Otiocerus wolfei), Durham, 9/13/07 Mating planthoppers (Mysidia mississippiensis), Durham, NC, 6/25/17 Planthopper (Mysidia mississippiensis), Durham, NC, 6/30/17    

Dictyopharid Planthoppers (Dictyopharidae family)

Planthopper (Rhynchomitra microrhina), Durham, NC, 7/30/20 Dictyopharid Planthopper (Rhynchomitra microrhina), Durham, NC, 8/2/15 Planthopper  (Rhynchomitra microrhina), Durham, NC, 7/19/20          

Issid Planthoppers (Issidae family)

Issid Planthopper (Thionia bullata), about 4 mm long. Durham, 9/26/08. ID thanks to Andy Hamilton. Issid planthopper (Thionia bullata), Durham, NC, 8/30/14 Issid planthopper (Thionia bullata) nymph, Durham, NC, 6/22/15 Issid planthopper (Thionia quinqata) nymph, Durham, NC, 6/4/21          

Acanaloniid Planthoppers (Acanaloniidae family)

Acanaloniid Planthopper (Acanalonia conica), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC 7/22/07 Acanaloniid Planthopper (Acanalonia conica), Durham, NC, 7/24/15 Acanaloniid Planthopper (Acanalonia bivittata), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/28/05.

Acanaloniid Planthopper nymphs

At least some planthopper nymphs eventually cover themselves with some filmy white material for camouflage.  They show up on struggling plants.  However, sometimes Wheel Bug nymphs catch on -- and catch them.

Acanalonid planthopper nymph, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 7/15/07.  This bold nymph looked ready to use fight rather than flight.  This little insect was about 1 mm long.  Acanaloniid planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/22/15 Acanaloniid planthopper nymph, without "tail," and also in an unnatural environment.  I wonder if there's a connection! Durham, NC, 6/28/19 Acanaloniid planthopper nymph, Durham, 6/30/08.  Note the ridges in the rear part (where the white "tail" is). Acanaloniid planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/11/19  
Acanalonid planthopper nymph, showing where the white stuff comes out.  Durham, NC, 7/7/08 Acanaloniid planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/31/16        

Flatid Planthoppers (Flatidae family)

Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa), Durham, NC, 7/26/21 Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa), Durham, NC, 10/26/20 Adult Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa), NC Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 7/17/09 Adult Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa), Durham, NC, 8/15/09.  This one had seen a lot of action, looked like an old rug up close.  

Flatid planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/9/21 Flatid planthopper nymphs, Durham, NC, 6/13/15. The white stuff is growing in multiple places on its body. Flatid Planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 7/6/07.  You can see a couple of little legs near the top. Flatid Planthopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/8/09 Flatid Planthopper nymph (dorsal view, head on bottom) in full camouflage regalia.  Head is at bottom, "tail" at top. Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 6/20/06 Flatid Planthopper nymph (ventral view), Durham, 7/13/06 Wheel Bug nymph (late instar) eating what appears to be a Flatid Planthopper nymph.  Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 6/23/05.

Cicadas, Leafhoppers and Treehoppers (superfamily Cicadoidea, infraorder Cicadomorpha)

Cicadas (family Cicadidae)

Male cicadas make a very loud grating alarm sound by vibrating their tymbals, membranes in their abdomens.  We first hear dog-day cicadas buzzing during the first really hot days of summer.  In 2007, that wasn't until early August, when the temperature soared above 100º F many if not most days of that month.  Dog-day cicadas are apparently named for their tendency to emerge into buzzing adulthood during the most stultifying heat of the year.  On the other hand, May 2011 was the month 13-year periodical cicadas emerged and they are expected to be gone in a month.

Thirteen-year Periodical Cicadas (Magicicada tredecim)

Thirteen-year periodical cicada , Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11. Thirteen-year periodical cicada, recent metamorph, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11. Thirteen-year periodical cicada exuvia and adult.  Notice tiny beetle? on the exuvia. Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, 5/18/11 Thirteen-year periodical cicada: adult and exuvia, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11. Thirteen-year periodical cicada with damaged wing, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11. Thirteen-year periodical cicada exuviae, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/10/11.

Mating thirteen-year periodical cicadas.  Copyright © Mary Ross Withrow          

Possible Seventeen-year Periodical Cicada

Maybe a 17-year Cicada, seen in Durham, NC, 5/8/21.  It was apparently a fresh molt and died soon after emerging.  No other periodical cicadas appeared or were heard.          

Southern Dog-day Cicada (Tibicen davisi)

Southern Dog-day Cicada, Lake Crabtree County Park, 9/12/02. These mating Southern Dog-day Cicadas fell out of a Durham, NC tree on 8/3/08. Southern Dog-day Cicada, Durham, 7/27/05.  This noisy, lively, rather large cicada appeared on my deck at night. This Southern Dog-day Cicada had caught its wings on grass blades trying to take off.  You can see all four wings here.  Durham, 9/22/07 Southern Dog-day Cicada, Durham, 8/21/06.  This cicada was full of vim and vigor on the deck that night, buzzing wildly and noisily around.  To judge from the noise produced, this was definitely a male.


Southern Dog-day Cicada fighting off a Cicada Killer attack, Indian Creek Trail, Chatham County, NC, 8/2/05.  The cicada was very noisy as the two bounced around for quite some time. Cicada nymph, most likely a Southern Dog-day Cicada.  You can see a wing pad on its side.  Durham, NC, 8/11/10.  This nymph had only a little clay on it, on the pronotum. Probably a Southern Dog-day Cicada nymph, Durham, NC, 8/15/07.  You can tell from all the clay stuck to this nymph that it recently came up out of the ground.

Treehoppers (family Membracidae, superfamily Cicacoidea, infraorder Cicadomorpha)

Thornbug (Umbonia crassicornis)

Thornbug, Museum of Life and Science, Durham, NC, 6/6/05.  This is a tropical insect imported by the Museum.    

Treehopper (Telamona monticola)

Members of this genus eat oak leaves.

Treehopper (Telamona monticola, formerly thought to be T. decorata), with what appears to be an early instar true bug nymph, which apparently was attacking it.  Durham, NC, 5/6/09. Same treehopper departing with nymph.   

Oak Treehoppers (Platycotis vittata)

Oak Treehopper, Hanging Rock State Park, Stokes County, NC, 5/22/08.  That's a pants leg it's hanging onto. Oak Treehopper, the dark type, Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, Moore County, NC, 1/9/13 Oak Treehopper, the dark variety, Durham, NC, 12/14/12 Oak Treehopper  nymph, Duke Forest, Korstian Division, Orange County, NC, 5/3/06. This is the only one of its species and probably its genus I'd ever seen. Nevertheless, Stephen Cresswell, who identified it, apparently sees them all the time!  Same oak treehopper nymph, dorsal view.

Enchenopa binotata complex

Treehopper, Boone Gardens, Watauga County, NC, 7/2/18          

Campylenchia latipes

Treehopper, Occoneechee Mountain, Orange County, NC, 10/4/07.  

Ant with a treehopper (Campylenchia latipes), Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 6/10/06. Carpenter ants cultivate treehoppers for their honeydew.

Treehopper (Cyrtolobus genus)

Treehopper (Cyrtolobus genus, Smiliini tribe, Smiliinae subfamily), Larkspur, Marin County, CA, 5/7/16. Genus ID thanks to Solomon Hendrix; subfamily ID thanks to Vassily Belov.          

Buffalo Treehopper (Ceresa alta)

Buffalo Treehopper, Durham, NC, 3/8/22 Buffalo Treehopper, Durham, NC, 12/23/20 Buffalo Treehopper, Durham, NC, 6/26/11 Buffalo Treehopper, Durham, NC, 6/16/08 Buffalo Treehopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/14/14 Buffalo Treehopper nymph, Durham, NC, 8/8/21.  Ailing after heavy rains.

Entylia carinata

Treehopper, Durham, NC, 5/10/08 Treehopper, Daniel Boone Gardens, Boone, NC, Watauga County, NC, 7/8/11 Treehopper, Durham, NC, 5/9/21    

Acutalis tartarea

Treehopper (Acutalis tartarea), Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, 6/20/08    

Leafhoppers (family Cicadellidae, superfamily Cicadoidea, infraorder Cicadomorpha)

Subfamily Deltocephalinae

Stirellus bicolor

Stirellus bicolor, Durham, NC, 8/21/09

Japanese Maple Leafhopper (Japananus hyalinus)

Japanese Maple Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 11/3/20 Japanese Maple Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 11/17/18.  ID thanks to Ken Wolgemuth Japanese Maple Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 10/30/20          

Scaphytopius nigrifrons

Leafhopper (Scaphytopius nigrifrons), North Carolina Botanical Garden, 9/27/14

Balclutha impicta

Durham, NC, 6/24/09.  A tiny leafhopper, only 2 mm long, and very lively.  Photo was taken at night. Leafhopper (Balclutha impicta), Durham, NC, 5/10/18        

Macrosteles quadrilineatus

Leafhopper nymph and adult, Durham, NC, 8/15/07.  These were two of hundreds of such leafhopper in what used to be a swamp in my neighborhood before a currently long drought.  The leaf they were on belonged to one of many succulent plants with yellow flowers.  

Texananus genus

Leafhopper, Texananus genus, probably longipennis species.  Peaks of Otter, Bedford County, VA, 8/21/18 Leafhopper (Texananus genus, Iowanus subgenus, species either longipennis or majestus, Durham, NC, 9/13/07.  Genus and subgenus ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.    

Deltocephalus sonorus

Leafhopper (Deltocephalus sonorus) and exuvia    

Exitianus exitiosis

Leafhopper, Carolina Beach, NC, 6/26/08.  ID thanks to Andy Hamilton. Leafhopper (Exitianus exitiosis), Durham, NC, 6/29/21    

Osbornellus genus

Leafhopper (Osbornellus genus), Durham, NC, 7/5/10.  Photo taken at night. Leafhopper (Osbornellus limosus), Durham, NC, 6/15/08.  Photo taken at night. Leafhopper (probably Osbornellus genus), Durham, NC, 8/10/08 Leafhopper (Osbornellus borealis), Durham, NC, 6/13/09.  Photo taken at night.  

Scaphoideus genus

Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/26/21 Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/23/20 Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/22/21 Leafhopper (Scaphoideus genus) nymph, Durham, NC, 5/13/22  


Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 7/5/17. ID suggested by John S. Ascher, based on post by Kyle Kittelberger. Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/17/20 Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/23/20          

Bandara genus

Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 8/14/08          

Orientus genus

Japanese Leafhopper (Orientus ishidae) nymph, Durham, NC, 6/6/09          

Subfamily Aphrodinae

Xestocephalus genus

Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 7/25/17.  ID thanks to Solomon Hendrix.          

Subfamily Typhlocybinae

Leafhopper (Erythroneura comes), Durham, NC, 8/10/08. Photo taken at night. Leafhopper (Erythroneura osborni), Durham, NC, 8/10/08.  Photo taken at night.    

Subfamily Evacanthinae

Evacanthus ustanucha

Leafhopper, Craggy Mountain, Macon County, NC, 7/8/05.  These leafhoppers were common in the wooded side of the mountain near the summit, although I've never seen them anywhere else.  According  to Andy Hamilton, who IDed it (and in fact named the species in 1983), it has only been seen seen on Mt. Mitchell and Chestnut Bald (in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains) before. See relevant BugGuide page..

Two-spotted Leafhopper (Sophonia orientalis)

Two-spotted Leafhopper (Sophonia orientalis).  ID thanks to Ken Wolgemuth.  Durham, NC, 12/6/20          

Subfamily Cicadellinae

Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis)

Glassy-winged Sharpshooter, Durham, NC, 8/2/20 Glassy-winged Sharpshooter, Durham, NC, 5/9/20 Same Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Glassy-winged Sharpshooter nymph, Durham, NC, 6/20/20 Same Glassy-winged Sharpshooter nymph, Durham, NC, 6/20/20 Glassy-winged Sharpshooter nymph, Durham, NC, 7/11/20  

Broad-headed Sharpshooter (Oncometopia orbona)

Broad-headed Sharpshooter, Boone, Watauga County, NC, 8/1/21 Sharpshooter, Durham, NC, 6/30/16 Sharpshooter, Durham, NC, 7/6/17 Sharpshooter, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 9/23/13 Sharpshooter, Durham, NC, 7/6/07  


Broad-headed Sharpshooter Nymph, Durham, 6/20/05.  Freshly emerged from a molt. Late-instar nymph of a sharpshooter species.  I saw an adult try to protect a nymph by moving next to it and placing its leg over it, but couldn't get a photo. Broad-headed Sharpshooter nymph, Durham, NC, 5/18/21 Broad-headed Sharpshooter nymph, Durham, NC, 6/11/21 Broad-headed Sharpshooter nymph, Durham, NC, 6/21/14 Broad-headed Sharpshooter nymph, Durham, NC, 7/4/12  


Speckled Sharpshooter (Paraulacizes irrorata)

Speckled Sharpshooter, Durham, NC, 5/18/08

Draeculacephala zeae

Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 6/13/05.  Found on leaves of cattails in my neighborhood swamp.  This ITIS  recognizes the validity of this taxon. Leafhopper, Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/10/06.  This leafhopper showed up on the beach near the water.

Sibovia genus

Yellow-striped Leafhopper (Sibovia occatoria), Durham, NC, 7/9/21 Yellow-striped Leafhopper (Sibovia occatoria), Durham, NC, 7/12/20, on Common Milkweed. Yellow-striped Leafhopper (Sibovia occatoria), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 4/20/06 Yellow-striped Leafhopper (Sibovia occatoria), Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 7/30/05

Graphocephala versuta

Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 6/26/16 Leafhopper, Jordan Lake Gamelands, Chatham County, NC, 7/12/15 Leafhopper,  Durham, 6/30/08. 

Leafhopper nymph Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/11/19/ Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/13/21.  Perhaps very early instar. Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 6/1/21.  Perhaps very early instar.          

Graphocephala coccinea

Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 11/3/20 Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 8/21/08 Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 11/13/17 Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 5/31/15 Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 3/12/14 Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea), Durham, NC, 2/6/21            

Graphocephala fennahi

Leafhopper (Graphocephala fennahi), Linn Cove Viaduct Visitors Center, Avery County, NC, 8/12/19.  ID thanks to Kyle Kittelberger. Leafhopper (Graphocephala fennahi), Linn Cove Viaduct Visitors Center, Avery County, NC, 7/1/10 Leafhopper (Graphocephala fennahi), Boone, Watauga County, NC, 6/28/14          

Subfamily Macropsinae

Leafhopper (Oncopsis citra)          

Subfamily Coelidiinae

Jikradia olitoria

Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 9/20/09 Leafhopper, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 8/12/07    

Leafhopper nymphs (Jikradia olitoria)

Leafhopper (Jikradia olitoria) nymph, Durham, NC, 6/4/21 Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/1/22 Leafhopper nymph, Boone, Watauga County, NC, 6/28/18 Leafhopper nymph, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 5/21/09 Leafhopper nymph, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/24/08 Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 7/1/15 Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/16/18 Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 4/29/20 Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/11/21.  Very lively. Leafhopper nymph, Durham, NC, 5/11/21      

Agalliopsis ancistra

Leafhopper, Durham, NC, 5/9/20 Mating Leafhoppers, Durham, NC, 5/16/20          

Subfamily Gyponinae

Leafhopper (Gyponana cacumina), Durham, 8/11/06.  A large leafhopper, about half an inch long.  Taken at night. Leafhopper (Ponana punticollis), about 10 mm long.  Photo taken at night in Durham, NC, on 8/17/10.

Subfamily Idiocerinae

Idiocerus lunaris

Leafhopper (Idiocerus lunaris), Durham, NC, 5/1/07        

Mystery Hopper nymphs

Awaiting ID

Mystery hopper, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 6/15/07


This leafhopper exuvia got left behind at Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC on 7/15/06 when a leafhopper molted.

Froghoppers/Spittlebugs (superfamily Cercopoidea, infraorder Cicadomorpha)

As nymphs, they are known as spittlebugs because of their bubbly disguise; as adults they are known as froghoppers.

Aphrophoridae family

Froghopper (Aphrophora saratogensis), Boone Gardens, Boone, Watauga County, NC, 6/8/17. ID thanks to Ken Wolgemuth.          

Diamond-backed Spittlebug (Lepyronia quadrangularis, Cercopidae family)

Diamondback Froghopper, Durham, NC, 10/12/12 Diamond-backed Spittlebug (Lepyronia quadrangularis) adult, Asheville, NC, 7/9/05.   This was at most half an inch long. Diamond-backed Spittlebug adult, Durham, 7/18/05.  Probably the same kind of froghopper as the one on the left.  Does kind of have that froggy look! Diamond-backed Spittlebug, Durham, NC, 8/28/08 

Common Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius)

Common Meadow Spittlebug.  ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.  This color is unusual for the species.  Natural Bridge area (roadside, ~1000 feet in elevation), Rockbridge County, VA, 7/8/09. Common Meadow Spittlebug.  ID thanks to Andy Hamilton.   This is a common coloring in this somewhat variable species.  Harkening Hill, Peaks of Otter Recreational Area, Bedford County, VA, 7/9/09. Meadow Spittlebug, the nymph form of froghoppers, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Durham County, NC, 6/23/05.         

Two-lined Froghopper (Prosapia bicincta)

Two-lined Froghopper, Durham, NC, 8/24/09 Two-lined Froghopper, Macon County, NC, 8/9/05.  Two-lined Froghopper, Durham, 9/23/05.  Found in my local marsh on a cattail leaf. Two-lined Froghoppers, Airlie Gardens, Wilmington, New Hanover County, NC, 6/23/06

Clastoptera genus, Clastopteridae family

Froghopper (Clastoptera obtusa), Julian Price Memorial Park, Watauga County, NC, 7/7/11.  ID thanks to Kyle Kittelberger, confirming tentative ID by Andy Hamilton. Froghopper (Clastoptera obtusa), Durham, NC, 12/14/21.  Froghopper, Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 1/13/14.  Genus ID for these two confirmed by Vassily Belov. Froghopper, Durham, NC, 2/2/14. Froghopper, Durham, NC, Durham, NC, 7/6/20 Froghopper nymph (spittlebug), Durham, NC, 6/2/18 Spittlebug, Durham, NC, 5/13/22 Froghopper nymph, Indian Creek Wildlife Observation Trail, a Jordan Lake Game Land, Chatham County, NC, 4/19/06.  This insect was about ¼ inch long.      



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