blueberry leafhopper

(Scaphytopius magdalensis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

 

No Image Available

 

 

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread in North America east of the Rocky Mountains

Flight/Season

Two generations: April to September (North Carolina)

Habitat

Forest edges, open woodlands, and shrubby areas

 
Size

Total Length: to 3 16 (3.75 to 4.8 mm)

Male: average (4.5 mm)

Female: average 3 16 (4.8 mm)

 

Identification

Deltocephalinae is the largest subfamily of leafhoppers, representing 6,683 species in 923 genera. Many of these species are disease vectors, transmitting pathogens to economically important plants.

Blueberry leafhopper is common and widespread in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. It is known to occur in Minnesota, though no records of it in the state are available. It is found in forest edges, open woodlands, and shrubby areas, especially where its preferred host blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) is found. In addition to blueberry, its hosts include elm, grape, various ornamentals, and in the south, palm. In northeast North America it is an important vector of the phytoplasma, a virus-like pathogen, that causes the disease blueberry stunt.

Adults are dark brown and to 3 16 (3.75 to 4.8 mm) long. Females on average are 3 16 (4.8 mm) long, males a little smaller, (4.5 mm) long. The body is flattened laterally and tapered, appearing somewhat wedge-shaped from above. The background color is brownish-yellow (clay-colored) but it is so heavily speckled with dark brown that the overall color appears to be dark brown.

The head is angular and is flattened above. There are two large compound eyes and two tiny simple eyes (ocelli). The crown of the head, the only part visible when viewed from above, is triangular, flat, and narrower than the exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum). It is moderately pointed at the tip and about 1.5 times longer than the distance between the eyes. It is dark brown overall and has several milky-white or pale markings, including a longitudinal line (midline) from the tip about one-third the length of the crown; a thin line on each side of the midline; and a broken line near each lateral margin. The face, not visible from above, is dark brown. The cheeks (genae) are broadly expanded and extend behind the compound eyes. The antennae are short and bristle-like.

The pronotum does not extend over the abdomen. It is brown to reddish-brown with milky-white margins and five milky-white longitudinal lines. The plate between the wing bases (scutellum) is large, triangular, and dark brown to orange, with a pair of milky-white lines.

There are two pairs of wings, and they are held tent-like, almost vertically over the body when at rest. The forewings (hemelytra) are thickened, are longer than the body, and completely cover the sides of the body. On the female, the ovipositor extends beyond the wingtips. The hemelytra are comprised of a narrow area (clavus) behind the scutellum when the hemelytra are closed; and the remaining, broad, marginal area (corium). They are dark brown overall with numerous milky-white spots that are well-defined and at least partially bordered with dark brown. The leading margin of each hemelytron is milky-white and crossed by several bold dark lines. The tip is broadly rounded and has a black band and a white margin. The hindwings are thin, membranous, a little shorter than the hemelytra, and concealed beneath the hemelytra.

The legs are yellow. The fourth segment (tibia) of each hind leg has two rows of comb-like spines. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to a foot, has three segments.

 
Similar
Species

Sharp-nosed leafhopper (Scaphytopius acutus) is darker overall and has a yellowish face.


Larval Food

Same as adult

 
Adult Food

Plant juices from the leaves of blueberry, elm, grape, and various ornamentals

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 29, 30.

Blueberry leafhopper is known to occur in Minnesota, but no records of it in the state can be found.


Comments

Disease Vector
Blueberry leafhopper is an important vector in northeastern United States of the phytoplasma, a virus-like pathogen, that causes the disease blueberry stunt.


Taxonomy

Order:

Hemiptera (true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids and allies)

 

No Rank:

Euhemiptera

 

No Rank:

Clypeorrhyncha

 

Suborder:

Auchenorrhyncha (free-living hemipterans)

 

Infraorder:

Cicadomorpha

 

Superfamily:

Membracoidea

 

Family:

Cicadellidae (leafhoppers)

 

Subfamily:

Deltocephalinae

 

Tribe:

Scaphytopiini

 

Genus:

Scaphytopius

 

Subgenus:

Cloanthanus

 
Synonyms

Scaphytopius vaccinium

 
Common
Names

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Corium

The thickened basal portion of the front wing that lies between the clavus and the membrane of insects in the family Hemiptera.

 

Hemelytron

The forewing of true bugs (Order Hemiptera), thickened at the base and membranous at the tip. Plural: hemelytra.

 

Instar

The developmental stage of arthropods between each molt; in insects, the developmental stage of the larvae or nymph.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Ovipositor

A long needle-like tube on the abdomens of some female insects, used to inject eggs into soil or plant stems.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

       

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