Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Leafhopper ID


Hi, Ed,
I was pruning my roses today and came across a very brightly-colored insect. After some Googling, I can't  Identify it. I'm attaching a picture so you can see what it looks like. I saw it at around 2:30 in the afternoon, and I live in southern NJ, a few miles away from the ocean.

Dear Jonathan - This is a type of leafhopper (Hemiptera/Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae) known as a sharpshooter (subfamily Cicadellinae). It looks to me more like a member of the genus Oncometopia than anything else (see http://tinyurl.com/pvotffv for an example), but there are species in other genera (such as Cuerna) that can be very similar - see http://tinyurl.com/nslzvnq for an example. They all are sap feeders, and some species can vector plant diseases as well.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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