citrus flatid planthopper

(Metcalfa pruinosa)

Conservation Status
citrus flatid planthopper
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Citrus flatid planthopper is a small, jumping insect. It is native and very common in eastern North America. It has been introduced into southern Europe and is now an invasive species of concern in orchards and vineyards there. It feeds on a wide variety of woody species including maple, elm, willow, black locust, dogwood, hawthorn, elder, grape, and raspberry.

Adults are 3 16 to 5 16 long and 1 16 to wide at their widest point. The body is flattened laterally. From above it appears wedge-shaped. The color is highly variable, from brown or gray. The wings and body are moderately to densely covered with a mealy, bluish-white, waxy powder.

The forewings are elongated-triangular in shape and are held at rest tent-like, almost vertically, over the body. There are two dark spots on the basal half of each forewing. The anal vein is Y-shaped. There are numerous cross veins between the leading edge of the forewing (costa) and the first longitudinal vein (subcosta). The lower (anal) veins are lumpy or knotty (nodal).

The compound eyes are yellow or orangish-yellow. The antennae are attached on the sides of the head below the eyes. They are short, bristle-like, and three-segmented. The first segment is small and collar-like.

The hind legs are 1½ times as long as the other legs. The fourth segment (tibia) of each hind leg has a 5 to 7 comb-like spines at the tip and two spines on the sides. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to a foot, has three segments.

The nymphs are flat, white, and densely covered with white, waxy powder. Waxy filaments at the end of the body usually form two appendages, but these may break off.




3 16 to 5 16


Similar Species


A wide variety of woody species




May to September. One generation per year.




It often hops, like a grasshopper, for transportation, but usually walks slowly to avoid detection.


Life Cycle


The female inserts a single egg in a preexisting opening in the bark of a host plant. She sometimes excavates an opening in the bark. She will lay up to 100 eggs. The eggs overwinter and hatch in May the following year. The nymphs pass through five stages (instars) and emerge as adults between July and September.


Nymph Food




Adult Food


It feeds on a wide variety of woody species including maple, elm, willow, black locust, dogwood, hawthorn, elder, grape, and raspberry. It has been recorded feeding on more than 200 species of plants. In North America it feeds of 34 genera of native plants in 20 families.


Distribution Map



7, 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.




Common and widespread



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



Auchenorrhyncha (true hoppers)

  Infraorder Fulgoromorpha  


Fulgoroidea (planthoppers)







  Tribe Nephesini  



Subordinate Taxa


citrus flatid planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa cubana)

citrus flatid planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa pruinosa)




Flata pruinosa

Melormenis pruinosa

Ormenis pruinosa

Poeciloptera pruinosa


Common Names


citrus flatid plant hopper

citrus flatid planthopper

citrus planthopper

frosted lightening hopper

mealy lantern fly










In plants: The central axis of a pinna, to which pinnules are attached. In insects: The leading edge of the forewing.



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



The upper (dorsal) surface of a body segment of an arthropod. Plural: terga.



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






Visitor Photos

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Mike Poeppe

    citrus flatid planthopper      

Alfredo Colon

    citrus flatid planthopper   citrus flatid planthopper  
    citrus flatid planthopper      






Visitor Videos

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  Citrus flatid planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa)!
Aug 28, 2023

Citrus flatid planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa)! #shorts @annahalo Thank you to all my Fans and Friends!

  Mystery White Bug?
Aug 16, 2023

Mystery White Bug? #shorts @annahalo Thank you to all my Fans and Friends!

Other Videos
  Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Flatidae: Metcalfa pruinosa) Lateral View
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Aug 10, 2011

Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (10 August 2011). Thank you to Andy Hamilton ( for confirming the identity of this specimen!

  Metcalfa pruinosa

Published on Sep 26, 2012

The adults reach approximately 4-7 millimetres of length and can mostly encountered from mid-July until late autumn.

Gli adulti raggiungono approssimativamente i 4-7 millimetri di lunghezza e possono maggiormente essere incontrati dalla metà di Luglio fino al tardo autunno.

  Citrus Flatid Planthopper

Published on Jul 31, 2011


  Προσβολή δένδρου λωτού από Metcalfa pruinosa (Say)
Pomology Institute

Published on Oct 20, 2015

Προσβολή δένδρου λωτού από Metcalfa pruinosa (Say).
Η Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) είναι πολυφάγο είδος και έχει μεγάλο αριθμό φυτών-ξενιστών, καλλιεργούμενων και αυτοφυών.
Προκαλεί καχεκτική εμφάνιση των προσβεβλημένων φυτών, με αποτέλεσμα την αλλοίωση της εμφάνισης και την ποιοτική υποβάθμιση των καρπών, στην περίπτωση των οπωροφόρων.
Περιοχή: Νέος Μυλότοπος Πέλλας.
Ποικιλία: Jiro.

Google translation:

Infringement lotus tree from Metcalfa pruinosa (Say).
The Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) is polyphagous species and has a large number of host plants, cultivated and wild.
Causes stunted appearance of infected plants, resulting in deterioration of appearance and quality deterioration of the fruit, where the fruit.
Area: Neos Mylotopos Pella.
Variety: Jiro.




Visitor Sightings

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Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada


Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada

This is a new insect sighting in my back yard. The insect jumped about 12 inches after I had made the video. Any idea of what it may be?

  Mike Poeppe

Location: Just west of Houston, MN

citrus flatid planthopper  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

citrus flatid planthopper  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

citrus flatid planthopper  




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