red-banded leafhopper

(Graphocephala coccinea)

Conservation Status
red-banded leafhopper
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


With about 19,500 species described, leafhoppers (Cicadellidae) is by far the largest family of true bugs (Hemiptera). There are about 2,500 leafhopper species in North America. Among the largest and most brightly colorful of these are the subfamily sharpshooters (Cicadellinae). One of the most common of the latter is the red-banded leafhopper. It occurs in the eastern United States and adjacent Canadian provinces. It is found in meadows, woodlands, and gardens on the leaves of a wide variety of plants. Red-banded leafhopper, and several other leafhopper species, are vectors of Pierce’s disease caused by the bacteria Xylella fastidiosa, which causes decline of woody plant species.

Females are ¼ to 5 16 (7.2 to 8.4 mm) long, males a little smaller, ¼ (6.6 to 7.6 mm) long. The body is flattened laterally and tapered. From above they appear wedge-shaped. It is brightly colored with red stripes on a blue, turquoise, or green background (called green below).

The head is angular, pointed, flattened above, and yellow, with a narrow black band on the outer margin. There are two large compound eyes and two tiny simple eyes (ocelli). There are no longitudinal black lines between the eyes. The antennae are short and bristle-like. They are inserted on the head between the eyes.

The exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum) does not extend over the abdomen. It is green with an yellow submarginal band near the head. A large red spot on each side merges with the submarginal band. The plate between the wing bases (scutellum) is large, triangular, and red or yellow.

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 wing bases. The wings are comprised of a narrow area (clavus) behind the scutellum when the hemelytra are closed; and the remaining, broad, marginal area (corium). They are green with three red stripes, an inner stripe on the clavus and a middle and outer stripe on the clavus. The inner stripe extends along the outer margin of the clavus. When the hemelytra are closed the inner stripes of both hemelytra join to form a deep V. The middle and outer stripes extend from the base to the tip of the corium. They merge at each end creating an enclosed green area. The red stripes are broad and the hemelytra are usually mostly red. There is also a narrow black band around each blunt wingtip. There is no Y-vein in the anal area. 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.




Male: ¼ (6.6 to 7.6 mm)

Female: ¼ to 5 16 (7.2 to 8.4 mm)


Similar Species


Meadows, woodlands, and gardens




Late June to early October




Nymphs feed on the underside of leaves.

Adults are agile and can move as fast sideways as forward. They can jump to avoid predators or move to another plant.


Life Cycle


The female lays eggs in the leaves of host plants. The eggs appear as small swellings or bumps on the leaf. Eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring. Nymphs pass through five stages (instars) before emerging as adults.


Nymph Food


Same as adult


Adult Food


Sap of more than 50 species of plants


Distribution Map



24, 27, 29, 30.







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


Auchenorrhyncha (true hoppers)  


Cicadomorpha (spittlebugs, cicadas, leafhoppers and treehoppers)  


Membracoidea (leafhoppers and treehoppers)  


Cicadellidae (typical leafhoppers)  


Cicadellinae (sharpshooters)  




  Subgenus Graphocephala  

Subordinate Taxa


red-banded leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea coccinea)

red-banded leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea idonea)

red-banded leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea quadrivittata)






Common Names


candy-striped leafhopper

red-and-blue leafhopper

red-banded leafhopper

scarlet-and-green leafhopper









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



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



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



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



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



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



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.



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



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






Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this insect.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Scott Bemman
  red-banded leafhopper    
  red-banded leafhopper    
Alfredo Colon
  red-banded leafhopper   red-banded leafhopper
  red-banded leafhopper   red-banded leafhopper
  red-banded leafhopper    
C Wysocki

On swamp milkweed

  red-banded leafhopper    Photos



  Red-banded Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea)
Bill Keim
  Red-banded Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea)  
  Red banded leafhopper Graphocephala coccinea
Bruce Brethauer
  Red banded leafhopper Graphocephala coccinea  



Visitor Videos

Share your video of this insect.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.

Other Videos
  Red-banded Leafhoppers (Cicadellidae: Graphocephala coccinea) Making Honeydew
Carl Barrentine

Published on Jul 6, 2010

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (06 July 2010).

  Candy-Striped Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea)
Give it a Grow

Published on Sep 8, 2017

The Candy-Striped Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea) has bright Red and Blue stripes with a Yellow head and legs.

Music: Hyperfun by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (



  Red-banded Leafhopper - Graphocephala coccinea

Published on Sep 11, 2010

I don't understand the coloring for survival around here.

I left the background noise because I learned my nephew does the same thing to my sister so I feel a rant coming on. If I rant you will know what it's about.

  graphocephala coccinea
My Insect Videos

Published on Jul 21, 2018

  Red-banded Leafhoppers (Cicadellidae: Graphocephala coccinea) Feeding
Carl Barrentine

Published on Jul 6, 2010

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." --John Muir Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (06 July 2010).




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this insect.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.

Scott Bemman

Location: Scenic State Park

red-banded leafhopper


Location: Circle Pines, MN

red-banded leafhopper

Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

red-banded leafhopper

C Wysocki

Location: Plymouth, MN

On swamp milkweed

red-banded leafhopper

Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

red-banded leafhopper

Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

red-banded leafhopper Sightings





Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 All rights reserved.