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Buffalo Treehopper (Stictocephala spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Buffalo Treehopper.

 Updated: 2/13/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org




The popular Buffalo Treehopper is a tiny, green plant jumper with the horns and tail of a bison.



Easily recognizable by its greenish color and its humpback-like appearance, Buffalo Treehoppers have large heads that resemble those of a buffalo. Two protuberances come to a point at the widest part of the head. Their black tips mimic horns. The ridge on its back is brown and yellow and ends in a 'tail'. Light yellow spots freckle the sides of the green body. Buffalo Treehoppers are related to cicadas and have wings that allow them to move quickly from plant to plant, where they lay eggs as well as collect a meals. Females cut a curved sliver into fresh, green stems and lay their eggs inside it or underneath leaves. The newly hatched nymphs will then drink the sap from the plant to the point the stem collapses. Nymphs and adults have the same body appearance, though the younger nymphs may have a pink antennae and a white powdery substance on them that eventually wears off. Larvae are covered in short spines that also eventually wear off.

Buffalo Treehopper adults also feed on the sap of various parts of plants including the leaves, fruit, stems, vegetables and flowers. They have an appetite for diversity and are capable of causing crop plants, garden plants and ornamentals to wilt and possibly die. For this reason, they are considered a pest. Adults are most active in the summer and they begin to cluster together in the autumn to overwinter in debris, leaf litter or other areas that can offer some degree of insulation.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Membracidae
          Genus: Stictocephala
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Stictocephala spp.
Other Name(s): Treehopper
Category: Cicada and Planthopper
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 9mm (0.23in to 0.35in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; yellow; white; pink
Descriptors: flying, hopping, jumping, leaf-like, powdery, harmful
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.