Sharpshooter Leafhopper

Sibovia occatoria (?)

a leafhopper, Sibovia, photo © by Michael Plagens

On new foliage of Canyon Grape, Vitis arizonica, at Peña Blanca, Sta. Cruz Co., Arizona, USA. July 2013.

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Now that very powerful macrophotography is affordable and easily learned the popularity of some insect groups has grown. Leafhoppers are mostly very small, less than 5mm in length. Many display a rainbow of colors and morphologes that are designed to slice through viscous air at high excellerations. This gives them the appearance of race cars or jet aircraft painted to advertize ability. The big eyes are designed to spot trouble - like an approaching bird's beak - and the hind legs are always ready to jettison the bug through the air. All are plant feeders, taking sap through piercing-sucking mouthparts.

This group of leafhoppers are known as sharpshooters because excess water in their diet is ejected from the anus with considerable force and range! A similar sharpshooter can be found on Desert Willow, but with a very different pattern on the head and pronotum:

Chilopsis Sharpshooter

Chilopsis Sharpshooter

Cicadellidae -- Leafhopper Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 9 July 2016