Overview

Distribution

Geographic Range

Found all over the world, there are over 3,000 species. In Michigan alone there are nearly 200.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

(See Homoptera page for additional information. ) These small (adults less than 13 mm long) insects are slim, with a wide blunt head and sucking mouthparts tucked in underneath it. They have 2 pairs of wings, and the front pair is often thickened and colored. They are most often green or yellow, but some have more colors and patterns. Adult leafhoppers can fly, but also hop quickly off a plant if disturbed. They are very active. Immatures lack wings so hop, or run, often sideways. Like aphids they sometimes excrete excess sugar solution. On the sides of their abdomen that have two flexible panels called "tymbals" that they can vibrate to make small sounds.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

On plants.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: taiga ; desert or dune ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains

Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

All leafhoppers suck fluid from plants.

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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon arcuatum is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon brachycerum is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon ephippiger is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon exiguum is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon faciale is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon flavicorne is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon fulviventre is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon gaullei is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon infectum is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon jurineanum is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon pubicorne is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon reticulatum is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon scapulare is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Anteon tripartitum is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Aphelopus atratus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Aphelopus camus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Aphelopus melaleucus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Aphelopus nigriceps is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Aphelopus querceus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Aphelopus serratus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Virus / infection vector
Cherry Little Cherry phytoplasma is spread by Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Dryinus collaris is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Dryinus niger is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus bicolor is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus clavipes is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus distinctus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus distinguendus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus formicicolus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus helleni is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus lunatus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus pedestris is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Gonatopus striatus is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Gorytes laticinctus stocks nest with Cicadellidae

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Gorytes quadrifasciatus stocks nest with Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Haplogonatopus oratorius is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Harpactus tumidus stocks nest with Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Lonchodryinus ruficornis is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Mimesa bicolor stocks nest with Cicadellidae

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Mimesa bruxellensis stocks nest with Cicadellidae

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Mimumesa littoralis stocks nest with Cicadellidae

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Mimumesa spooneri stocks nest with Cicadellidae

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Mimumesa unicolor stocks nest with Cicadellidae

Animal / parasitoid
larva of Mystrophorus formicaeformis is parasitoid of Cicadellidae

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Ecosystem Roles

These insects are carry lots of plant diseases.

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Predation

Leafhoppers dodge predators with their quick movements. Some emit a distress call that may startle a predator and cause it to drop the leafhopper. The bright colors on some suggest they might be toxic, but we don't have any information on this.

Known Predators:

  • Araneae
  • small Aves 
  • parasitic Hymenoptera 

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Known predators

Cicadellidae (leafhoppers) is prey of:
Hymenoptera
Tyrannidae
Sitta pygmaea
Dendroica coronata

Based on studies in:
USA: Arizona (Forest, Montane)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • D. I. Rasmussen, Biotic communities of Kaibab Plateau, Arizona, Ecol. Monogr. 11(3):228-275, from p. 261 (1941).
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Known prey organisms

Cicadellidae (leafhoppers) preys on:
Pinus


Based on studies in:
USA: Arizona (Forest, Montane)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • D. I. Rasmussen, Biotic communities of Kaibab Plateau, Arizona, Ecol. Monogr. 11(3):228-275, from p. 261 (1941).
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Leafhoppers have many means of communication. They're brightly colored, they have their special vibrating tymbals, plus the chemical communication that all insects use.

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Life Cycle

Development

See Homoptera page for basic information. Leafhoppers mature fast. In many species several generations can occur over just one summer.

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Usually just a few weeks or months, except for individuals that live through the winter by going dormant. These may last a year.

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Reproduction

After mating, females insert their eggs into stems or leaves of plants. They probably lay dozens to a few hundred eggs.

Breeding season: Summer.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

Parental Investment: no parental involvement

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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Wings shed dirt and water: cicada
 

The wings of cicadas shed dirt and water via nanoscale protrusions surrounded by air pockets that buoy water droplets.

   
  "Peng Jiang from the University of Florida is mimicking moth eyes and cicada wings to create new anti-reflective, super transparent, and water-repellent coatings. The coatings can be used to make solar cells more efficient and self-cleaning, and for other uses such as windows and computer screens. The coating mimics the microscopic structure found in moth eyes. Most moth eyes are made up of hexagonal sectors, each of which is filled with thousands of rows of nipple-like protrusions measuring only 300 nanometers. The value of this structure to the moth is that it interferes with transmission and reflection of light, which may protect it from predators as it forages in the moonlight. Jiang also mimics cicada wings which also have a structure similar to moth eyes. However, in this case, the protrusions are surrounded by tiny pockets of air that buoy water droplets. These allow the cicada's wings to shed water and dirt." (Biomimicry Guild Case Studies Database 2008)

“The self-cleaning effect on the wings of cicada induced by surface microstructures has inspired great interest in creating superhydrophobic coatings to prevent contamination, erosion, and bacterial accumulation.9 Although the natural microstructures on moth eyes and cicada wings lead to different biological functionalities, they show remarkable structural similarity, both consisting of non-close-packed (ncp), hexagonally ordered nipple-shaped protrusions with sub- 300-nm-scale dimensions.6,9 This similarity has inspired scientists to generate self-cleaning antireflection coatings (ARCs).10,11” (Sun et al. 2008:051107-1)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Sun, Qianyao; Vrieling, Engel G.; van Santen, Rutger A.; Sommerdijk, Nico A. J. M. 2004. Bioinspired synthesis of mesoporous silicas. Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science. 8(2): 111-120.
  • Sun, C. H.; Gonzalez, A.; Linn, N. C.; Jiang, P.; Jiang, B. 2008. Templated biomimetic multifunctional coatings. Applied Physics Letters. 92: 051107.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:24,126Public Records:9,002
Specimens with Sequences:21,636Public Species:1,480
Specimens with Barcodes:18,186Public BINs:1,219
Species:2,551         
Species With Barcodes:1,533         
          
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Barcode data

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Conservation

Conservation Status

No leafhopper species are known to be endangered.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Leafhoppers are major agricultural pests. The main form of damage is caused by the diseases that they carry from plant to plant, but they also sometimes damage crops directly by their feeding as well. Leafhopper populations grow so fast that they can quickly become a problem.

Negative Impacts: crop pest

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Leafhoppers are a food source for many small predators.

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Wikipedia

Leafhopper

Leafhopper is a common name applied to any species from the family Cicadellidae. These minute insects, colloquially known as hoppers, are plant feeders that suck plant sap from grass, shrubs, or trees. Their hind legs are modified for jumping, and are covered with hairs that facilitate the spreading of a secretion over their bodies that acts as a water repellent and carrier of pheromones.[1] They undergo an incomplete metamorphosis, and have various host associations, varying from very generalized to very specific. Some species have a cosmopolitan distribution, or occur throughout the temperate and tropical regions. Some are pests or vectors of plant viruses and phytoplasmas.[1] The family is distributed all over the world, and constitutes the second-largest hemipteran family, with at least 20,000 described species.

They belong to a lineage traditionally treated as infraorder Cicadomorpha in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, but as the latter taxon is probably not monophyletic, many modern authors prefer to abolish the Auchenorrhyncha and elevate the cicadomorphs to a suborder Clypeorrhyncha. Members of the tribe Proconiini of the subfamily Cicadellinae are commonly known as sharpshooters.

Description and ecology[edit]

The Cicadellidae combine the following features:

  • The thickened part of the antennae is very short and ends with a bristle (arista).
  • Two ocelli (simple eyes) are present on the top or front of the head.
  • The tarsi are made of three segments.
  • The femora are at front with, at most, weak spines.
  • The hind tibiae have one or more distinct keels, with a row of movable spines on each, sometimes on enlarged bases.
  • The base of the middle legs is close together where they originate under the thorax.
  • The front wings not particularly thickened.

An additional and unique character of leafhoppers is the production of brochosomes, which are thought to protect the animals, and particularly their egg clutches, from predation and pathogens.

Nymph of an unidentified Typhlocybinae species

Like other Exopterygota, the leafhoppers undergo direct development from nymph to adult without a pupal stage. While many leafhoppers are drab little insects as is typical for the Membracoidea, the adults and nymphs of some species are quite colorful. Some – in particular Stegelytrinae – have largely translucent wings and resemble flies at a casual glance.

Leafhoppers have piercing-sucking mouthparts, enabling them to feed on plant sap. A leafhoppers' diet commonly consists of sap from a wide and diverse range of plants, but some are more host-specific. Leafhoppers mainly are herbivores, but some are known to eat smaller insects, such as aphids, on occasion. A few species are known to be mud-puddling, but as it seems, females rarely engage in such behavior. Leafhoppers can transmit plant pathogens, such as viruses, phytoplasmas[2] and bacteria. Cicadellidae species that are significant agricultural pests include the beet leafhopper (Circulifer tenellus), potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae), two-spotted leafhopper (Sophonia rufofascia), glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis), the common brown leafhopper (Orosius orientalis), the maize streak virus vector Cicadulina mbila, and the white apple leafhopper (Typhlocyba pomaria). The beet leafhopper (Circulifer tenellus) can transmit the beet curly top virus to various members of the nightshade family, including tobacco, tomato, or eggplant, and is a serious vector of the disease in chili pepper in the Southwestern United States.

In some cases, the plant pathogens distributed by leafhoppers are also pathogens of the insects themselves, and can replicate within the leafhoppers' salivary glands. Leafhoppers are also susceptible to various insect pathogens, including Dicistroviridae viruses, bacteria and fungi; numerous parasitoids attack the eggs and the adults provide food for small insectivores.

Some species such as the Australian Kahaono montana Evans build silk nest under the leaves of trees they live in, to protect them from predators.[3]

Systematics[edit]

In the now-obsolete classification that was used throughout much of the 20th century, the leafhoppers were part of the Homoptera, a paraphyletic assemblage uniting the less advanced lineages of Hemiptera and ranked as suborder. The splitting of the Homoptera is likely to be repeated for the Auchenorrhyncha for similar reasons, as the Auchenorrhyncha simply seem to group the moderately advanced Hemiptera, regardless of the fact the highly apomorphic Coleorrhyncha and Heteroptera (typical bugs) evolved from auchenorrhynchans. Hence, a recent trend treats the most advanced hemipterans as three or four lineages, namely Archaeorrhyncha (Fulgoromorpha if included in Auchenorrhyncha), Coleorrhyncha and Heteroptera (sometimes united as Prosorrhyncha) and Clypeorrhyncha.[4][5][6]

Within the latter, the three traditional superfamiliesCercopoidea (froghoppers and spittlebugs), Cicadoidea (cicadas) and Membracoidea – appear to be monophyletic. The leafhoppers are the most basal living lineage of Membracoidea, which otherwise include the families Aetalionidae (aetalionid treehoppers), Membracidae (typical treehoppers and thorn bugs), Melizoderidae and the strange Myerslopiidae.[4][5][6]

Mating pair of Bothrogonia ferruginea (Cicadellinae), known as tsumaguro-ōyokobai in Japan

Leaf Hopper - Phoenix Arizona - Unknown Species

Subfamilies[edit]

The leafhoppers are divided into a high number (about 40) of subfamilies, which are listed here alphabetically, as too little is known about the family's internal phylogeny. Some notable genera and species are also listed.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stiller, Michael (October–December 2009). "Biosystematics: Leafhoppers associated with grasslands of South Africa – Grassland Biome endemics". Plant Protection News (Plant Protection Research Institute) 82: 6. 
  2. ^ Ing-Ming Lee, Robert E. Davis & Dawn E. Gundersen-Rindal (2000). "Phytoplasma: phytopathogenic mollicutes". Annual Review of Microbiology 54: 221–255. doi:10.1146/annurev.micro.54.1.221. PMID 11018129. 
  3. ^ "Silk production by the Australian endemic leafhopper Kahaono montana Evans (Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae: Dikraneurini) provides protection from predators - Gurr - 2011 - Australian Journal of Entomology - Wiley Online Library". Onlinelibrary.wiley.com. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  4. ^ a b David R. Maddison (January 1, 1995). "Hemiptera. True bugs, cicadas, leafhoppers, aphids, etc.". Tree of Life Web Project. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Auchenorrhyncha". Tree of Life Web Project. January 1, 1995. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Membracoidea". Tree of Life Web Project. January 1, 1995. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  7. ^ animals, animals, animals. Animalworld.tumblr.com (2010-11-26). Retrieved on 2013-02-09.
  8. ^ Viraktamath, C.A. & Dietrich, C.H. (2011). "A remarkable new genus of Dikraneurini (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae) from Southeast Asia". Zootaxa 2931: 1–7. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Carver, M, FG. Gross, and TE. Woodward. 1991. Hemiptera (bugs, leafhoppers, cicadas, aphids, scale insects, etc.) In: The Insects of Australia – a Textbook for Students and Research Workers Volume 1. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, Australia".
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