Introdroduction Key Grapes Project

Key To Leafhoppers and Sharpshooters


Introduction

The following is a key to the leafhopper and sharpshooters (Cicadellidae) captured in and around grape vineyards in north and central Texas. During the growing season of 1997, a total of 47 different species were captured. It is very likely that other species were present but were not captured and therefore are not represented in this key.

Criteria used in this key are size, color, and shape. Although all leafhoppers and sharpshooters described here are adults, size, color, and shape can vary slightly. For example, leafhopper Exitianus exitiosus has been described as ‘up to 5 mm’, in fact, this leafhopper has been found to range in size from just over 4 mm to about 5.5 mm. The sharpshooter Xyphon flaviceps is known to lose its greenish color during the winter in favor a grayish-brown color. In some species sex determines the shape and size. The female of Spangbergiella vulnerata is approximately 8 mm in length and its head is rounded at the apex and the anterior margin is flattened. The male is approximately 6 mm in length and its head is more pointed at the apex and the anterior margin is rounded.

To use this key it will be necessary to understand some of the terminology and to know a few basic structures of the leafhoppers. To make this easier, drawings from the 1949 publication ‘The Neartic Leafhoppers, A Generic Classification and Check List’ by P. W. Oman, have been used. These drawings include the head, pronotum, and scutellum (Fig. 1) of leafhoppers. The shape of these structures, and the markings on them are the distinguishing characteristics of each species.

Figure 1 shows the dorsal (upper side) view of the head, pronotum, and scutellum. Again, the color, shape, and size of these three structures are used extensively through-out this key to differentiate between species. Another term used to describe the leafhoppers is

Fig1

 Fig. 1. Dorsal view of head, pronotum, and scutellum, (from Oman, 1949).

‘anterior margin’ flattened or rounded (Fig. 2). Anterior refers to the outer front margin of the head. Anterior margin flattened means that the margin, separating the top and bottom of the head, is flat (Fig. 2, a), as opposed to rounded (Fig. 2, b).

Fig2a

a.

Fig2b

b.

Fig. 2. Side view of the head, showing anterior margin flattened (a) and rounded (b), (from Oman, 1949).

 

Key To LeafHoppers and Sharpshooters

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If

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1    Length of leafhopper 3.5 mm or less

2

1'     Length of leafhopper greater than 3.5 mm

9

2 1 Body and/or wings pale green to iridescent green

3

2'     Body and/or wings without any green color

4

3 2 Wings green or at least greenish in color Empoasca fabae
3'     Wings clear to whitish in color Unknown spp.
4 2' Dorsal view of head is somewhat pointed and dark colored Agallia constricta
4'   Dorsal view of head is rounded and light colored

5

5 4' Wings are white with small black spots Erythroneura curvata
5'     Wings are without black spots

6

6 5' Head is white to yellow-white, without markings

7

6'      Head with markings, mostly brown to orange

8

7 6 Wings with blue and brown stripes running across about midway Erythroneura tricincta
7'     Wings white, with brown and red specks Hymetta spp.
8 6' Dorsal view of body and wings shows brown, blue, and orange mottled Erythroneura varirbilis
8'     Dorsal view of body and wings shows white and orange mottling Erythroneura elegantula
9 1' Length of leafhopper 5 mm or less

10

9'   Length of leafhopper greater than 5 mm

24

10 9 Wings of leafhopper cover less than two-thirds of the abdomen

11

10'     Wings of leafhopper cover all or atleast two-thirds of the abdomen

12

11 10 Length of pronotum and head are about the same, (Fig. 3) Polyamia obtecta
11'     Head is longer than pronotum, (Fig. 3) Athysanella spp.
Fig3

Polyamia (#49)

Fig3

Athysanella (#51)

Fig. 3. Genera Polyamia and Athysanella, (from Oman, 1949)

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If

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12 10’ Dorsal view of leafhopper shows head to be pointed and about the same or longer in length than the pronotum 13
12'   Dorsal view of leafhopper shows head is rounded at the apex and not pointed, length of head the same or less than the pronotum 20
13 12 Length of head is about the same as pronotum 14
13'   Length of head is greater than the pronotum 16
14 13 Head, pronotum, and scutellum are black with yellow bands Stirellus bicolor
14'   Head is brown to green with black spots between eyes 1
15 14’ Four black spots between the eyes Deltocephala sonorus
15' Two black spots between the eyes Dalbulus elimnatus
16 13’ Head is slightly wider than pronotum, eyes extend out past the pronotum, (Fig. 4) 17
16' Head is not wider than, and eyes do not extend out past the pronotum (Fig. 4) Scaphytopius pennatus
Fig5

Flexamia (#4)

Fig5

Scaphytopius (#22)

Fig. 4. Comparing width of the head and pronotum of the genera Flexamia and Scaphytopius, (from Oman, 1949)

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If

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17 16 Head, pronotum, and scutellum is yellow in color Unknown spp.
17'   Head, pronotum, and scutellum not yellow in color

18

18 17’ Head, pronotum, and scutellum green in color Hecullus bracteatus
18'   Head, pronotum, and scutellum not green in color

19

19 18’ Body is red or light red Polyamia spp.
19'   Body is light brown with dark markings Flexamia picta
20 12’ Forewings are clear with whitish veins Macrosteles spp.
20'   Forewings not clear with whitish veins

21

21 21’ Forewings are brown and yellow striped Unknown spp.
21'   Forewings have some brown but no yellow color

22

22 21’ Forewings dark brown with mostly clear vein Acinopterus acuminatus
22’   Forewings not dark brown, but light brown

23

23 22’ Forewings light brown to transparent with brown veins Exitianus exitiosus
23'   Forewings whitish with brown along the inner portion, forming a brown stripe when wings are closed Norvellina spp.
24 9’ Length of leafhopper less than 7 mm

25

24'   Length of leafhopper greater than 7 mm

32

25 24 Anterior margin of head is flattened Xerophloea spp.
25'   Anterior margin of head not flattened but rounded

26

26 25' Dorsal view shows head to be somewhat pointed (Fig. 5,a)

27

26'   Dorsal view shows head to be slightly pointed (Fig.5,b) or rounded (Fig. 5,c)

29

Fig6_aa. Fig6_bb. Fig6_cc.

Fig. 5. Showing various shapes of leafhopper heads, (from Oman, 1949)

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If

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27

26 Head is light bluish with a brownish stripe connecting the eyes Scaphoideus spp.
27'   Head is not light bluish with a brownish stripe connecting the eyes 28
28 27 Head is reddish-orange to pale brown with two light colored spots with dark centers between the eyes Xyphon flaviceps
28'   Head is yellow-brown with dark lines forming symmetrical patterns Graphocephala versuta
29 26’ Dorsal view shows head to be slightly pointed (Fig. 5,b) 30
29'   Dorsal view shows head to be rounded (Fig. 5,c) 31
30 29 Dorsal view shows body and wings to be brown, black, and white mottled Texananus spp.
30'   Dorsal view shows body to be mainly green with some brown between the eyes and on the pronotum Knullana spp.
31 29' Head is slightly wider than pronotum Chlorotettix viridius
31'   Head is slightly narrower than pronotum Stragania spp
32 24' Length of sharpshooter 7 mm or greater 33
32'   Length of sharpshooter less than 7 mm. 1
33 32 Wings cover less than half of the abdomen Hecullus bracteatus
33'   Wings cover all or atleast half of the abdomen 34
34 33' Dorsal view shows body to be brown or black 35
34'   Dorsal view shows body to be green or tan (yellow-brown) 37
35 34 Body is brownish with a black stripe connecting the eyes Zabrosa spp.
35'   Body is brown or black with light colored speckles 36
36 35' Head, pronotum, and scutellum is brown with whitish speckles Cuerna costalis
36'   Head, pronotum, and scutellum is black with yellowish speckles Homalodisca coagulata
37 34 Body is tan or yellow-brown in color Prairiana spp.
37'   Body is mainly green or atleast greenish in color

38

38 37’ Head is pointed and the anterior margin is bluntly rounded Draeculocephala antica
38’   Head is slightly pointed to round and the anterior margin is flattened

39

39 38’ Four orange stripes running the length of the head, pronotum, and scutellum Hecalus spp.
39'   Posteriorly diverging red stripes on the head and pronotum Spangbergiella vulnerata

 

Document Author:

James C. Medley
Send mail to James C. Medley

Revised:

June 22, 2003
Copyright 1998LadyBug.gif (1020 bytes) AgroEcoSystems Research Group, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY