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  • Treehopper - (Ophiderma bimaculata)

    Treehopper - (Ophiderma bimaculata)

    Treehoppers can leap great distances between plants to escape predators. They can be quite colorful and have horns that resemble prickles.

    Picture of Treehopper
    Staff Writer (6/19/2017): Treehoppers come in a variety of colors. There are many genera and each has a color and pattern variation or region of dominance. The protrusion, or 'horn', at the top of the head mimics a thorn and helps conceal the insect from predators when resting among plants. The bright coloration of some species may be another form of defense, giving predators pause when considering an attack on an insect with such alarming colors.

    A mighty leap is what gave this insect its name. This remarkable ability ushers them quickly out of danger. Warnings to others nearby are given by vibrating the abdomen on a stem or leaf.

    Adults can be found on their favorite plants, usually in the plant's 'elbows', where twig meets branch. They feed on the liquid from the plant, siphoning off what they want from the tender parts. Multiple Treehoppers feeding on a young plant can weaken the plant to death.

    Females lay eggs in the tip of a twig, forcing them into small slits for protection. Because the tips of plants (apical meristems) are the site of continued growth, this damage can kill the twig, though the larvae will have long abandoned it before then.

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    Details of the:

    Category: Cicada and Planthopper
    Common name: Treehopper
    Scientific Name: Ophiderma bimaculata

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Membracidae
           Genus: Ophiderma
            Species: bimaculata

    Size (Adult, Length): 8mm to 12mm (0.31in to 0.47in)

    Identifying Colors: black, yellow, white

    Additional Descriptors: horn, bump, jump

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; 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; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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