The adults reach 7–10 millimetres (0.28–0.39 in) of length, while females are slightly larger. They can be encountered from early May through early August in moderately moist or in dry habitats.
The basic coloration of the stocky body is dark-brown. The pronotum is hairy, arched up and pulled back in a long, wave-shaped extension, with two sharp, ear-shaped protrusions (hence the Latin name cornutus, meaning 'horned').
The bizarre horn-like extensions of the pronotum apparently help the camouflage. As a matter of fact, when this insect is at rest on a branch with the legs retracted, it looks like a part of the branch itself. The legs are very short and the protruding eyes are large and round. The front wings are pale brown and translucent, with evident brown veins.
These 'treehoppers' are polyphagous, feeding on plant juices, which they take by their specially built, piercing-sucking mouth parts. The larvae mainly live on Cirsium, Carduus and Urtica species, while the adult insects prefer Populus, Quercus and Rubus species. They overwinter in the larval stage and have a two-year life cycle.
- Nickel, H., 2003 - The Leafhoppers and Planthoppers of Germany (Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha): patterns and strategies in a highly diverse group of phytophagous insects - Pensoft Series Faunistica No. 28, Sofia-Moscow, Keltern, 1-460
- Nast, J. 1987 - The Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera) of Europe - Annales Zoologici Warszawa 40: 535-661