AW Insect Book: Hopperbugs Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha

Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:00 pm

Africa Wild Insect Book: Hopperbugs: Cicadas, spittlebugs, leafhoppers, treehoppers, and planthoppers (Order Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha)

Hemiptera is an order of insects most often known as the true bugs (cf. bug), comprising cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, shield bugs, and others.
Bugs have sucking mouthparts whereas groups that can have a similar appearance, such as the beetles, have biting mouthparts. Most bugs are plant suckers making them important agricultural and garden pests, although there are a number of groups, such as the assassin bugs (Reduviidae), that are predatory.

Planthoppers can be separated from members of the Cicadomorpha by the location of the antennae which are ventral to the compound eyes (except in one cixiid subfamily in which the compound eyes are positioned anteroventrally to the compound eyes but are partially surrounded by cup-like concavities); the enlarged antennal pedicel bearing wart-like sensilla; the presence, in most taxa, of pad-like tegulae at the base of the forewings; the presence, again, in most taxa, of a “Y-vein”, that is, two anal veins coalescing on the clavus of the forewing to form a “Y-shaped” set of veins; the elongate, widely separated base of the mesothoracic coxae; and the lack of rows of setae along the shaft of each metathoracic tibia.

Upload your picture of a hopperbug and add a description underneath. Please only do one species per post.

All entries will be edited and updated (additional photos and information will be added by moderators). New entries will be posted according to taxonomic order and the post date does not reflect the actual date of new posts.

Index to Hopperbugs (Order Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha)

Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:11 pm

Index to Hopperbugs (Order Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha)


Superfamily: Cicadoidea (Cicadas)
Family: Cicadidae
Brevisiana brevis African Platypleurine Cicada viewtopic.php?p=233084#p233084
Oxypleura quadraticollis Axe-head Cicada viewtopic.php?p=233085#p233085
Platypleura sp. African Platypleurine Cicada viewtopic.php?p=233086#p233086
Severiana severini African Platypleurine Cicada viewtopic.php?p=233088#p233088
Superfamily: Cercopoidea (Spittlebugs)
Family: Cercopidae
Locris areata Red Spittle Bug viewtopic.php?p=233089#p233089
Superfamily: Membracoidea (Leafhoppers & Treejoppers)
Family Cicadellidae (Leafhoppers)
Leafhopper viewtopic.php?p=233091#p233091
Superfamily: Fulgoroidea (Planthoppers)
Family: Eurybrachidae
Paropioxys jucundus Moth Bug, Mottled Avocado Bug viewtopic.php?p=233093#p233093
Family: Flatidae
Flatine Planthopper viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3195&start=10#p248903
Family: Dictyopharidae
Dictyophara sp. Dictyopharid Planthopper viewtopic.php?p=233095#p233095
Family: Fulgoridae
Zanna sp. Twig Snout Bug viewtopic.php?p=327059#p327059
Family: Tettigometridae
Hilda patruelis Plant Hopper, Groundnut Hopper viewtopic.php?p=233097#p233097

AW Insect Book: Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cicadidae

Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:08 am

Family Cicadidae (Cicadas, Christmas Beetles)
Large well-known family whose shrill buzzing is a characteristic summer sound. Males have a pair of circular sound-producing organs (tymbals) that appear as two round membranes on either side of the abdomen, each reinforced with a strong circular ring. A muscle attached to the centre contracts, and the recoil produces a click; rapid contraction of these muscles produces a shrill continuous noise. Both sexes have ears (larger in males) on the underside of the abdomen. Males have at least one specific call to which females are attracted. One calling male stimulates others to join in, forming a chorus. Cicadas have two pairs of transparent wings, often attractively marked in dull colours. Exotic species lay eggs in slits made in twigs, and the newly hatched nymphs dig into the ground using their very enlarged fore legs. Here they feed on roots, and it takes many years (sometimes over a decade) before they emerge, climb up a tree, and moult into adults, leaving the dry nymphal skin attached to the tree bark.
Cicadas have three ocelli between the large compund eyes, in the Oxypleurini these are shiny white. It's these ocelli that detect changes in light and gives the Cicada an advantage over their predators.
About 140 species occur in the region.

Links: Checklist: The Cicadas (Homoptera: Cicadoidea) of South Africa

AW Insect Book: Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cicadidae

Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:10 am

African Platypleurine Cicada Brevisiana brevis, Platypleura brevis
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha. Infraorder: Cicadomorpha. Superfamily: Cicadoidea. Family: Cicadidae. Subfamily: Cicadinae. Tribe: Platypleurini

Image
Lower Sabie, Kruger National Park

Another identification from Prof. Villet \O \O \O Thank you ^Q^ O0

Species of Brevisana have a short broad crown without definite margin, rounded to front; the ocelli (photoreceptor "eyes") are small, close to anterior margin; there are striae transverse. Tibia of the hind legs with outer row of "hairs" (setae) consisting only of large setae. Forewings translucent with raised, rugose veins, especially on the basal portion of the forewing (corium), and a small appendix.

Brevisana brevis is the loudest insect on record. It has been recorded producing a calling song with a mean sound pressure level of 106 decibels at a distance of 50 cm. :shock:

Distribution
South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Nothern Province), Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi; from October to April.

AW Insect Book: Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cicadidae

Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:13 am

Axe-head Cicada Oxypleura quadraticollis
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha. Infraorder: Cicadomorpha. Superfamily: Cicadoidea. Family: Cicadidae. Subfamily: Cicadinae. Tribe: Platypleurini

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna
Kruger National Park

The genus Oxypleura is distinguished by the lateral development of the prothorax.

Distribution
South Africa (Mpumalanga & Northern Province), Botswana, Zimbabwe; from November to February.

Image © serval
Kruger National Park

Image © mposthumus
Kruger National Park, Tamboti
Towards the end of their relatively brief adult lives cicadas become moribund and often partly covered in fungus before they die. Like this one. Their reproductive functions fulfilled, they shut down and perish.

Links: Checklist: The Cicadas (Homoptera: Cicadoidea) of South Africa

Thank you for the additional information, wynand! \O

AW Insect Book: Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cicadidae

Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:15 am

African Platypleurine Cicada Platypleura sp. not yet named
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha. Infraorder: Cicadomorpha. Superfamily: Cicadoidea. Family: Cicadidae. Subfamily: Cicadinae. Tribe: Platypleurini

Image
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

I contacted a cicada specialist yesterday to get help with the identification and Prof Martin H. Villet, Department of Zoology & Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, was kind enough to provide us with the identification:
It is indeed a new species of Platypleura that i am busy naming at the moment. A nice find!


^Q^ ^Q^ ^Q^ Thank you for your assistance, much appreciated O0


The cicada genus Platypleura occurs widely across Africa and southern Asia. Some of the South African species are remarkable for their endothermic thermoregulation that enables crepuscular signalling, an adaptation that reduces risk of predation and enables a greater range for their calls. In field experiments their maximum body temperature while calling at dusk, was measured at 22°C above ambient temperature.
The Platypleurini are distributed from the Cape in South Africa, throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, through India and south East Asia, to Japan. Those of southern and east Africa resemble the Asian group. Endothermy occurs in several large-bodied South American and South African species, but not in related small-bodied species.

Links: Wikipedia

AW Insect Book: Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cicadidae

Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:43 am

African Platypleurine Cicada Severiana severini
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha. Infraorder: Cicadomorpha. Superfamily: Cicadoidea. Family: Cicadidae. Subfamily: Cicadinae. Tribe: Platypleurini

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna
Pilanesberg

Description
Width of head about equal to that of mesonotum. Pronotum with the lateral margins lobately expanded, more or less angular. Fore wings not hyaline but opaque.

Distribution
Mpumalanga and Northern Province, north to Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia; September to January.

Links: Photo

AW Insect Book: Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cercopidae

Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:43 am

Family Cercopidae (Spittle Bugs, Froghoppers)
Froghoppers are common in Africa. The nymphs are called spittle bugs, as they secrete and are concealed in spittle-like foam that protects against enemies, parasitoids and desiccation. This foam results from a mix of anal secretions, glandular slime and air. Nymphs have an almost closed concavity on the underside of the abdomen, which serves as a chamber for mixing of the spittle ingredients. Some nymphs live underground on the roots of plants, others on grasses and (the larger species) on shrubs and trees.
Adults are medium-sized and stoutly built, with cone-shaped end of head, and almost round eyes, and often have brightly coloured fore wings. They jump, but do not secrete wax (like planthoppers). Both stages of cercopids are sap feeders and thus affect tree growth to some extent.
There are 33 species known from the region, most belonging to the genus Locris.

AW Insect Book: Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cercopidae

Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:44 am

Red Spittle Bug Locris sp possibly Locris areata
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha. Family: Cercopidae

Image © Kesheshe
Kruger National Park

Description
Locris areata is an eye-catching spittle bug has a bright-orange head and thorax, with sparse black markings, and red wings. Wingspan 23 mm.
Similar species: Closely related to the Red-spotted Spittle Bug, L. arithmetica, which is found further inland and is bright scarlet, with characteristic black spots.

Habitat
Found on wild grasses, are occasionally found on sugarcane in moist areas.

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna
Ngwenya Lodge

AW Insect Book: Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cicadellidae

Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:04 am

Family Cicadellidae (Leafhoppers)
This is a large family with numerous African species, previously known as Jassidae. Leafhoppers are small, usually less than 20 mm long, delicately slender insects, widest in the front and narrowing towards the abdominal tip. They are either colorful (many bright green) or cryptic. May resemble small slim froghoppers (Cercopidae), but have very enlarged leg bases and at least one row of small spines along thin part of hind tibiae. Excellent jumpers. They sometimes occur in groups, usually on or under foliage. When disturbed, they readily escape by jumping and flying. Many leafhoppers are highly host-specific, feeding on trees, shrubs and grasses. Particularly abundant on grasses, the Western Cape fauna rich and distinctive A characteristic white patch appears where they destroy the leaf chlorophyll after feeding, and where numbers are high this may cause the entire leaf to dra out. Many are pests of economic significance, since they transmit viral (e.g. maize streak virus), fungal and bacterial diseases.
About 350 species are known from the region.