Genus Cixidia Fieber, 1866

[Return to North American Achilidae]

Family Achilidae Stål, 1866

Subfamily Achilinae Stål, 1866

Tribe Myconini Fennah, 1950
Genus Cixidia Fieber, 1866: 499.

Type species: Cicada confinis Zetterstedt, 1828.


  = Epiptera Metcalf, 1922: 264; status (subgenus) by Anufriev 1969: 173-174 (Type species Flata opaca Say, 1830).

  = Neomenocria Fennah, 1950; syn. by Emeljanov 1993: 24 (type species Elidiptera advena Spinola, 1839).

Distribution: Widespread in Palearctic and Nearctic regions.

Recognized species

In North America, there are 14 species, all in the subgenus Epiptera; worldwide there are 41 species (plus 1 subspecies)


Cixidia (Epiptera) brittoni (Metcalf, 1923) – USA: CT, NC, NY, PA, RI; CAN: BC, MB, NB, ON, QC, SK
Cixidia (Epiptera) colorata (Van Duzee, 1908) – USA: ME, NY, VA, WI
Cixidia (Epiptera) confusa (Beirne, 1950b) – USA: MA, ME, MN, MS; CAN: AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, ON, QC, SK, YK
Cixidia (Epiptera) fusca (Walker, 1851) – USA: AL, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, TX, VA, WI; CAN: ON, QC; Puerto Rico
= Epiptera floridae (Walker 1851:326) (Monopsis); syn. by Fennah 150:20
Cixidia (Epiptera) fusiformis (Van Duzee, 1910b) – USA: CA, OR, WA; CAN: BC
Cixidia (Epiptera) henshawi (Van Duzee, 1910b) – USA: CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA; CAN: AB, BC
Cixidia (Epiptera) manitobiana (Beirne, 1950) – USA: AZ, CA; CAN: AB, BC, MB, NB, QC, SK, YK
Cixidia (Epiptera) opaca (Say, 1830) – USA: DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, MN?, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA; CAN: BC, ON, QC
= Helicoptera pinorum Manee, 1910: 117  – USA (NC); syn. by Van Duzee 1910: 262.
= Helicoptera vestita Provancher, 1889; syn. by Van Duzee 1910: 262.
Cixidia (Epiptera) pallida (Say, 1830) – USA: CA, DC, FL, LA, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA; CAN: AB, BC, LB, MB, NT, ON, QC, SK, YK
10 Cixidia (Epiptera) septentrionalis (Provancher, 1889) – USA: DC, ME, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, WI; CAN: AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, ON, QC, SK
11 Cixidia (Epiptera) shoshone (Ball, 1933a) – USA: AZ, ID, NM, WY
12 Cixidia (Epiptera) slossonae (Van Duzee, 1908) – USA: AK, AZ, ME, MN, NH, NY; CAN: BC?, NT?, ON, QC
13 Cixidia (Epiptera) variegata (Van Duzee, 1908) – USA: AL, AZ, CT, DC, DE, IL, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA; CAN: NB, ON, QC
14 Cixidia (Epiptera) woodworthi (Van Duzee, 1916)  – USA: AK, CA, ID, OR, WY; CAN: YK


Subgenus Cixidia:

Cixidia (Cixidia) confinis (Zetterstedt, 1840) – Northern Europe (Estonia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia (Northwest European Russia; Russian Far East), Sweden)

Subgenus Epiptera:
2 Cixidia (Epiptera) kasparyani Anufriev, 1983 – Russia (Maritime Territory)
3 Cixidia (Epiptera) lapponica (Zetterstedt, 1828 [1840?]) – Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Russia (northern & middle, Siberia)
4 Cixidia (Epiptera) lapponica hyalina (Metcalf, 1948) – Finland, Siberia (Krasnoyarsk), Sweden
5 Cixidia (Epiptera) marginicollis (Spinola, 1839: 309) – Mediterranean region (Sicily)
Cixidia (Epiptera) italica (Wagner 1959); syn. by D’Urso & Guglielmino, 1995)
6 Cixidia (Epiptera) maroccana Anufriev, 1969 – Morocco
7 Cixidia (Epiptera) okunii (Matsumura, 1914) – Japan
8 Cixidia (Epiptera) pilatoi D’Urso & Guglielmino, 1995 – Central Europe; Italy, southwestern Germany, Eastern Austria, Czechia (Bohemia, Moravia), Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Bulgaria, ? Ukraine, ? Moldavia
9 Cixidia (Epiptera) ussuriensis (Kusnezov, 1928) – Maritime Territory (Russia)

Subgenus apparently not assigned:

10 Cixidia genei (Spinola, 1839: 308) – Algeria, Italy, Portugal, Spain
11 Cixidia kabakovi Emeljanov, 2005 – Afghanistan
Cixidia karaseki (Melichar, 1905) (Kenya – Transferred to Mabira Fennah, 1950 by Synave 1959).
12 Cixidia leptarcya (Amyot, 1847) – France
13 Cixidia maghrebina Asche, 2015 – Algeria
14 Cixidia mersinica Dlabola, 1987 – Turkey
15 Cixidia misbeca (Amyot, 1847) (species dubuim) – Italy
16 Cixidia ochrophara (Amyot, 1847) (species dubuim)- Italy (Sicily)
17 Cixidia parnassia (Stål, 1859) – Southeastern central europe; Balkan peninsula, Afghanistan (viz. Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Yugoslavia)
18 Cixidia polias Emeljanov, 2005 – Krasnodar Territory, Russia
19 Cixidia sabeca (Amyot, 1847)  [species dubium] – France
20 Cixidia shikokuana (Ishihara, 1954) – Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku)
21 Cixidia sikaniae D’Urso & Guglielmino, 1995 – Italy (Sicily)
22 Cixidia tristirops (Amyot, 1847)  [species dubium] – France
24 Cixidia advena (Spinola 1839)

Note: Neomenocria advena (Spinola, 1839) was listed as ‘C. advena (Spinola, 1839)’ on p. 63 of D’Urso & Guglielmino, 1995. The generic status of this species is not clear. Neomenocria was subsumed under Cixidia by Emeljanov (1993: 24).

Economic Importance

Limited. No recorded pests and no expectation that any of the species may be pests.

Plant associations

North American species stated to be ‘associated with pine’ by several authors.  Nymphs found associated with fungus in logs.  The significance of adult host association is unclear.

Photographs by Matt Bowser of an immature Cixidia in a log (Alaska, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge) are here: Cixidia nymph photos (look under media).

Cixidia (Epiptera) woodworthi – Pinus jeffreyiJuniperus  (reported by Van Duzee 1916; Wilson et al. 1994)

Cixidia sikaniae – Pinus pinaster, “Quercus gr. pubescens” (reported by D’Urso & Guglielmino, 1995)

Cixidia (Epiptera) marginicollis – (under bark) Quercus cerrisQuercus ilexPinus pinaster, “Quercus gr. pubescens” ((reported by D’Urso & Guglielmino, 1995)

Cixidia pilatoi – Quercus sp.

Cixidia confinisAntrodia xantha (Fr.) Ryvarden (Fungi Basidiomycota Agaricomycetes Polyporales, Fomitopsidaceae) according to Vilbaste (1971)

Hosts from FLOW and Wilson et al. 1994.


(North American species)

Below is a key to species from Beirne (1950).  There appear to be several undescribed species (or the actual geographical distribution and variations in color patterns is a poor match for what is currently known)

Key from Beirne (1950) (may have OCR errors, figure references are to Beirne, these posted below)

1 Upper half of frons dark brown or black, strongly contrasting with the white or pale-yellow lower half (Figs. 1-3) … 2

1- Frons brownish or yellowish, the upper half not sharply darker than the lower … 7

2. Dorsal surface deep blackish-brown, almost uniform … opaca (Say)

2- Dorsal surface brownish, usually variegated with greyish or ochraceous … 3

3. Clypeus black or dark blackish-brown (Fig. 1) … 4

3- Clypeus brown or yellowish-brown (Figs. 2, 3 ) … 6

4. Larger species, over 9 mm. in length; western only… 5

4- Smaller species, 8-9 mm. in length; eastern . . . brittoni Metcalf

5. Vertex one and a half times as wide as long (Fig. 15) … fusiformis (Van D.)

5- Vertex about as long as wide (Fig. 16) … henshawi (Van D.)

6. A narrow species in proportion to its length; length 7-8 mm, width 3 mm.; clypeus concolorous with lower half of frons (Fig. 2) … slossoni (Van D.)

6- Broader species; length 7-8.5 mm., width 4 mm.; clypeus obviously darker than lower half of frons (Fig. 3) … confusa (Beirne)

7. Clypeus distinctly darker than frons (Fig. 4 ) … 8

7- Clypeus not darker than frons (Figs. 5-7) … 9

8. Vertex one and a half times as long as its basal width (Fig. 13); elytra almost uniform brown … fusca (Walker)

8- Vertex barely as long as its basal width (Fig. 14); elytra variegated with greyish white  … pallida (Say)

9. Front brown, irrorated paler throughout (Fig. 5); vertex obviously wider than long (Fig. 17) … variegata (Van D.)

9- Front irrorated paler only at sides (Fig. 6) or not at all (Fig. 7); vertex as long as or longer than its basal width  … 10

10. Frons darker than clypeus, irrorated paler at sides (Fig. 6) … manitobiana (Beirne)

10- Frons and clypeus unicolorous brownish (Fig. 7 ) … septentrionalis (Prov.)


Larger achilids; Head, including eyes, less than 2/3 as wide as pronotum. Key to most species (11 of 14) in (Beirne 1950)

Cixidia speces

Cixidia species


Cixidia species

Note Photos of C. henshawi, C woodworthi, C. colorata, and C. variegata are primary types; images courtesy Michael Krasnobrod & Norm Penny (California Academy of Sciences)Other photos by Kimberley Shropshire (University of Delaware)

Cixidia species

Figures from Beirne (1950)

Online resources

Bugguide. (as Epiptera)
Discover Life.
Hoppers of North Carolina.
Kunzweb Gallery. (Link to Achilidae)
American Insects. (Link to Achilidae)


Most often taken at lights.

Molecular resources: GenBank has limited data for Cixidia parnassia (Stal, 1859) (from Ceotto et al. 2008) and for Cixidia sp. and Barcode of Life has data for about 9 taxa.

Selected references

Amyot, C. J. B. 1847. Rhynchotes. Ordre deuxième Homoptères. Homoptera. Latr. Entomologie française. Rhynchotes. Méthode mononymique. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (Ser. 2) 5: 143-238 [163].

Anufriev, G. A. 1969. Studies on some Palearctic Achilidae (Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha). Bulletin de l’Académie Polonaise des Sciences Serie des Sciences Biologiques 17: 173-178.

Anufriev, G. A. 1983. A new species of the genus Cixidia Fieber, 1866 from the Soviet Maritime Territory. Reichenbachia 21(24): 141-144.

Asche, M. 2015. The West Palaearctic Achilidae (Hemiptera, Fulgormorpha: Fulgoroidea) – a review with description of five new species from the Mediterranean. Nova Supplementa Entomologica 25: 1-135 [44].

Ball, E. D. 1933. Some new Western leafhoppers of the fulgorid family Achilidae. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 9: 133-138.

Barringer, L.E. and C. Ciafre. 2017. First records of the fulgorid planthoppers Cixidia fusca and Synecdoche impunctata (Hemiptera: Achilidae) from Missouri. Insecta Mundi 0550: 1-2.

Bartlett, C.R., L.B. O’Brien, and S.W. Wilson. 2014. A review of the planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea) of the United States. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 50: 1-287.

Beirne, B. P. 1950. The Canadian species of Epiptera (Homoptera: Achilidae). Canadian Entomologist 82: 186 190.

d’Urso, V., A. Guglielmino, A. and A. Mauceri. 2005. The internal male and female reproductive apparatus in Cixidia sikaniae D’Urso & Guglielmino, 1995 (Fulgoromorpha, Achilidae). Zootaxa 1077: 25–36.

d’Urso, V. and A. Guglielmino. 1995. Taxonomic remarks on Italian Cixidia with description of two new species (Homoptera Auchenorrhyncha, Achilidae). Spixiana 18:49-64.

Dlabola, J. 1987. Neue ostmediterrane und iranische Zikadentaxone (Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha). Acta Entomologica Bohemoslovaca 84(4): 295-312 [298].

Dlabola, J. and P. Stys. 1976Phantia subquadrataCixidia lapponica in Slovakia. Entomologica Bohemoslovaca 73: 348.

Emeljanov, A. F. 1992. Toward the problem and limits and subdivisions of Achilidae (Homoptera, Cicadina). Entomological Review 71(1): 53-73 (Translation of Entomologicheskoye Obozreniye 1991, 70: 373-393, in Russian).

Emeljanov, A. F. 1993. Description of tribes of the subfamily Achilinae (Homoptera, Achilidae) and revision of their composition. Entomological Review 72(6): 7-27 (Translation of Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 71: 574-594 from Russian).

Emeljanov, A. F. 2005. New genera and species of the family Achilidae (Homoptera). Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 84(1): 10-45.

Fennah, R. G. 1950. A generic revision of the Achilidae (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea) with descriptions of new species. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology 1: 1-170.

Fieber, F. X. 1866a. Neue Gattungen und Arten in Homoptern (Cicadina Bur.). Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien16: 497-516 [499].

Gossner, M. and C. Damken. 2018. Chapter 9. Diversity and Ecology of Saproxylic Hemiptera. p. 263-317. In: M. D. Ulyshen (ed.), Saproxylic Insects. Zoological Monographs 1. Pp. IX+904.

Hepburn, H. R. 1967. Notes on the genus Epiptera (Homoptera: Achilidae). Journal of the Georgia Entomological Society 2(3): 78-80.

Holzinger, W.E., I. Kammerlander and H. Nickel. 2003. The Auchenorrhyncha of Central Europe. Volume 1. Fulgoromorpha, Cicadomorpha excluding Cicadellidae. Brill Academic Publishing, Leiden, Netherlands.

Ishihara, T. 1954. Homopterous notes. The Scientific Reports of the Matsuyama Agricultural College 14: 1-28.

Kusnezov, V. 1928c. Neue Homopteren-Arten.  Entomologisches Nachrichtenblatt (organ für entomologie und entomologische hilfsmittel)  2: 47-52.

Liang, A.-P. and L. B. O’Brien. 2002. External morphology of the wax glands of Epiptera woodworthi (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Achilidae). Southwestern Entomologist 27: 209-215.

Long, Jian-Kun; Lin Yang & Xiang-Sheng Chen.  2015. A review of Chinese tribe Achilini (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Achilidae), with descriptions of Paracatonidia webbeda gen. & sp. nov. Zootaxa 4052(2): 180-186.

Manee, Abram Herbert.   1910a.  Two new fulgorids (Hemiptera-Homoptera).  Entomological News 21:117.

Matsumura, S. 1914. Beitrag zur Kenntnis Fulgoriden Japans. Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 12: 261-305.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1922a. On the genus Elidiptera (Homoptera). Canadian Entomologist 54: 263-264.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1923. A key to the Fulgoridae of Eastern North America with descriptions of new species. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 38: 139-230.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1948. General catalogue of the Hemiptera. Fasc. IV. Fulgoroidea, Part 10. Achilidae. Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. 85 pp.

Nickel H. and R. Remane. 2002. Artenliste der Zikaden Deutschlands, mit Angabe von Nährpflanzen, Nahrungsbreite, Lebenszyklus, Areal und Gefährdung. Beiträge zur Zikadenkunde 5: 27-64.

O’Brien, L. B. 1971. The systematics of the tribe Plectoderini in America north of Mexico (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea: Achilidae). University Of California Publications in Entomology 64: 1-79.

Provancher, L. 1889. Petite faune entomologique du Canada, précédée d’un traité élémentaire d’entomologie. In: Provancher L. 1889. Petite faune entomologique du Canada, précédée d’un traité élémentaire d’entomologie, 3. p. 207-292.

Say, T. 1830. Descriptions of new North American Hemipterous insects, belonging to the first family of the section Homoptera of Latreille. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 6: 235-244.

Spinola, M. 1839. Essai sur les Fulgorelles, sous-tribu de la tribu des Cicadaires, ordre des Rhyngotes. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 8: 133-337 [309].

Stål, C. 1859. Novae quaedam Fulgorinorum formae speciesque insigniores. Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift 3: 313-327.

Stål, C. 1866a. Hemiptera Homoptera Latr. Hemiptera Africana vol. 1-2. Officina Norstedtiana, Stockholm, Sweden. 256 + 181 pp. [From Smithsonian Biodiversity Heritage Library] (partial translation)

Synave, H. 1959. Achilidae (Homoptera Fulgoroidea). Exploration du Parc National Albert. Mission G. F. de Witte (1933-35) 5: 1-96.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1908. Studies in North American Fulgoridae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1907: 467-498.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1910. Descriptions of some new or unfamiliar North American Hemiptera. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 36: 73-88.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1910. Notes on genus Catonia (Homoptera). The Canadian Entomologist 42: 261-265.

Vilbaste, J. 1971. Eesti Tirdid. Homoptera: Cicadinea I. 283 Eesti NSV Teaduste Akadeemia, Zooloogia & Botaanika Instituut (Acad. Sc. Estonian SSR, Inst. Zoology & Botany), Tallinn (Estonia).

Walker, F. 1851. List of the specimens of Homopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum 2: 261-636. [see p. 326]

Wilson, S. W. 1983. Description of the fifth instar of Epiptera opaca (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea: Achilidae). Great Lakes Entomologist 16(1): 1-3.

Wilson, S. W., C. Mitter, R. F. Denno, and M. R. Wilson. 1994. Evolutionary patterns of host plant use by delphacid planthoppers and their relatives. In: R. F. Denno and T. J. Perfect, (eds.). Planthoppers: Their Ecology and Management. Chapman and Hall, New York. Pp. 7-45 & Appendix.

Zetterstedt, J. W. 1828. Ordo III. Hemiptera. Fauna Insectorum Lapponica 1: 1-563.

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