typical leafhoppers

(Family Cicadellidae)

typical leafhopper (Family Cicadellidae)
Photo by Alfredo Colon

Cicadellidae is a very large family of true bugs called typical leafhoppers. It is one of the largest families of insects in North America and in the world. There are about 22,000 described species worldwide, but the total number of species is estimated to be more than 100,000. The species are grouped into 60 tribes in 25 subfamilies. Of these, 23 subfamilies are still living (extant) and 2 are extinct. There are 13 subfamilies in North America north of Mexico. There are at least 111 species in 74 genera in 11 subfamilies in Minnesota.

Typical leafhoppers occur on every continent except Antarctica. They are found in almost all habitats in which there are vascular plants.


Some typical leafhopper species feed on a broad diversity of plants, but most species are restricted to a single species or genus of plants. All species have piercing-sucking mouthparts which they use to puncture tender plant tissue, inject saliva, and suck up plant juices. The larger species are twig feeders and suck up sap. They cause no noticeable damage to the host plant. The smaller species are leaf feeders and suck up cell contents. They leave pale spots called hopperburn on the upper side of a leaf, but no damage is visible on the underside.

Some typical leafhoppers are known to transmit plant pathogens, including viruses, phytoplasms, and bacteria. Some of these species are serious agricultural pests.

Unlike other insects, typical leafhoppers usually run sideways. When disturbed on a leaf or a twig, they usually dart to the other side. When disturbed on a flat surface, they run at an oblique angle.


Typical leafhoppers are small, hard bodied, jumping insects. They range from 116 to 1316 (2 to 30 mm) in length, but most are less than (10 mm) in length.

The antennae are very short and have a stiff bristle (arista) at the end. There are two large compound eyes on the sides of the head and two small simple eyes (ocelli) on top of the head. The ocelli are well separated from the compound eyes.

On the hind legs, the fourth segment (tibia) has one or two rows of small spines. The last part of all legs (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has three segments.


Distribution Map



24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

Medler, John T. (1942). The leafhoppers of Minnesota. University of Minnesota. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/204089.



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


Auchenorrhyncha (true hoppers)  


Cicadomorpha (spittlebugs, cicadas, leafhoppers and treehoppers)  


Membracoidea (leafhoppers and treehoppers)  

Subordinate Taxa


Flat-headed Leafhoppers (Subfamily Ledrinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Aphrodinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Bathysmatophorinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Coelidiinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Deltocephalinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Errhomeninae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Euacanthellinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Eurymelinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Evacanthinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Hylicinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Iassinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Jascopinae) [extinct]

leafhoppers (Subfamily Megophthalminae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Mileewinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Nastlopiinae) [extinct]

leafhoppers (Subfamily Neobalinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Neocoelidiinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Nioniinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Phereurhininae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Portaninae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Signoretiinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Tartessinae)

leafhoppers (Subfamily Ulopinae)

Microleafhoppers (Subfamily Typhlocybinae)

Sharpshooters (Subfamily Cicadellinae)






Common Names



typical leafhoppers

















A large bristle on the upper side of the third segment of the antenna of a fly.



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



On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.



The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.






Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this insect.

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

Alfredo Colon

    typical leafhopper (Family Cicadellidae)      
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos





Homoptera: Cicadellidae
Mick Talbot
  Homoptera: Cicadellidae  



Visitor Videos

Share your video of this insect.

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


Other Videos
  Leafhopper Nymph (Cicadellidae) - Beautiful, tiny bug with a tail of white feathers.
Costa Rica Nature Photography

Sep 21, 2021

This is a leafhopper in the nymph stage. These are from the family Cicadellidae but I have no idea what exact species this one is. I was struck by the way this amazing insect moved and of course, that beautiful white feather tail. Enjoy!

  Leafhopper species black (Cicadellidae)

Jun 4, 2014

Cicadellidae, Membracoidea, Cicadomorpha, Auchenorrhyncha, Hemiptera




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this insect.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, MN

typical leafhopper (Family Cicadellidae)

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings






Created: 10/30/2023

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.