Catalog Number: USNM
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology
Collector(s): W. Craig
Year Collected: 1975
Locality: Columbia; Mo, Missouri, United States
Buffalo treehoppers are a bright green color and have a somewhat triangular shape that helps camouflage them so as to resemble thorns or a twiggy protuberance. It gets its name from the vague resemblance of its profile to that of an American bison. They grow to 6 to 8 millimeters (0.24 to 0.31 in) long and have transparent wings.
S. bisonia mates during the summer months. Males attract females with a song that, unlike similar songs used by cicada and crickets, are outside the sonic range audible to humans. Females lay eggs from July to October using a blade-like ovipositor. Up to a dozen eggs are laid in each slit made by the female.
Nymphs emerge from the eggs the following May or June. The nymphs, which resemble wingless adults, but have a more spiny appearance, descend from the trees where they hatched to feed on grasses, weeds, and other nonwoody plants.
Both adult and immature buffalo treehoppers feed upon sap using specialized mouthparts suited for this purpose. Black locust, clover, elm, goldenrod, and willow are among their favorite food sources. It is also an occasional pest of fruit trees and is harmful to young orchard trees, especially apple trees. It has become an invasive species in some parts of Europe.
- Jackman, John A. (2001-08-10). "Buffalo Treehopper". Texas Cooperative Extension. Texas A&M Entomology Department. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- "buffalo treehopper", Encyclopædia Britannica (Online ed.), Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2008, retrieved 2008-07-14
- "Buffalo Treehopper". Pennsylvania Tree Fruit Production Guide. Pennsylvania State University, College of Agricultural Sciences. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- Moran, Mark (2004-04-05). "Buffalo Treehopper: Stictocephala bisonia". Study of Northern Virginia Ecology. Fairfax County Public Schools. Retrieved 2008-07-14.