Genus Juniperthia O’Brien, 1985

[Return to North American Achilidae]

Family Achilidae Stål, 1866

Subfamily Achilinae Stål, 1866

Tribe Plectoderini Fennah, 1950

Genus: Juniperthia O’Brien, 1985

Type species: Catonia succinea Van Duzee, 1916: 247.


  = Juniperia O’Brien, 1971 (preoccupied; nec. Linnavuori 1965); syn. by O’Brien 1985 (All species moved from Juniperia by implication).

Distribution: Southwestern US (But mostly California)

Distribution of Juniperthia from FLOW

Distribution of Juniperthia from FLOW (as of 26 Oct 2021)

Recognized species

There are 5 species in this genus:

Juniperthia indella (Ball, 1933: 136) – USA: CA, NV
Catonia indella Ball, 1933: 136.
Juniperia indella (Ball, 1933); comb. by O’Brien 1971: 61-62.
= Juniperthia indella (Ball, 1933); comb. by implication O’Brien 1985: 657.
Juniperthia majuscula (Van Duzee, 1912) – USA: AZ, CA
Catonia majuscula Van Duzee, 1912: 492.
Juniperia majuscula (Van Duzee, 1912); comb. by O’Brien 1971.
Juniperthia majuscula (Van Duzee, 1912); comb. by implication O’Brien 1985: 657.
Juniperthia producta (Van Duzee, 1915) – USA: CA
Catonia producta Van Duzee, 1915: 120.
Juniperia producta (Van Duzee, 1915); comb. by O’Brien 1971: 58-59.
Juniperthia producta (Van Duzee, 1915); comb. by implication O’Brien 1985: 657.
Juniperthia succinea (Van Duzee, 1916) – USA: CA, NE
Catonia succinea Van Duzee, 1916: 247.
Juniperia succinea (Van Duzee, 1916); comb. by O’Brien 1971: 59-60.
Juniperthia succinea (Van Duzee, 1916); comb. by implication O’Brien 1985: 657.
Juniperthia unimaculata (O’Brien, 1971) – 657. USA: CA
Juniperia unimaculata O’Brien, 1971.
= Juniperthia unimaculata (O’Brien, 1971); comb. by implication O’Brien 1985:

Economic Importance


Plant associations

Associated with Juniper and incense cedar.

Nymphs of achilids associated with fungus (usually in logs).  The significance of the adult host association is unclear.

Juniperthia products and  J. succinea are listed among the cave fauna of California (Elliott et al. 2017).

Juniperthia indella – Juniperus occidentalis Hook. (Western Juniper, Cupressaceae), Juniperus californica Carrière (California juniper), Calocedrus decurrens(Torr.) Florin (incense cedar, Cupressaceae), Arctostaphylos tomentosa (Pursh) Lindl. (woollyleaf manzanita, Ericaceae), Baccharis sp. (Asteraceae), Salix sp. (Salicaceae )
Juniperthia majuscula – Juniperus deppeana Steud. (alligator juniper)
Juniperthia producta – Juniperus californica Carrière, Calocedrus decurrens (Torr.) Florin (incense cedar)
Juniperthia succinea – uniperus californica Carrière, Calocedrus decurrens (Torr.) Florin (incense cedar)

Juniperthia unimaculata – uniperus californica Carrière

Hosts from O’Brien 1971, Wilson et al. 1994; plant names from USDA PLANTS. See Also FLOW.


Description of the genus from O’Brien 1971 (reformated slightly)

1. Frons 1-1/2 to 2 times as long as broad, raised at the base in a broad callus that unites with lateral and median carinae to form an arch above each shallowly hollowed half of disc. Broad area at base usually at least twice width of lateral
2. Rostrum long, reaching apex of hind coxae.
3. Pronotum medially longer than tegulae, with one lateral marginal carina between tegula and eye in J. producta, carina indistinct or absent in other species.
4. Tegmen with (a) Sc+R fork variable, between the level of union of claval veins and stigmal cell, CUI fork between the level of union of claval veins and apex of clavus. (b) Subcostal cell longer than 1/3 length of tegmen in J. indella and J. unimaculata, shorter in J. producta, J. succinea, and J. majuscula not widest apically.
5. Hind wing usually with R single, M two-branched, and CUI two-branched.
6. Hind tibia without a spine in basal half.
7. Male pygofer with medioventral lobe absent or vestigial.
8. (a) Strut of aedeagal appendage not Y-shaped but sinuate, attached to venter of phallobase. (b) Phallobase with lateral lobes dorsoventrally expanded with a curved flange at base; ventral lobes reduced to membrane joining lateral lobes; dorsal lobes absent.

In Juniperia the shape of the vertex, often considered a generic character, is quite variable. The areolets of the lateroapical angle of the head are present only as depressions adjoining parts of the anterior margin and are completely absent in J. producta. The tegmina are transparent and often have a spurious cross vein between the postcubitus and the claval suture. The wings are clear, tinged with brown in majuscula, with brown veins. The shape of the phallobase has remained nearly constant during speciation and differs only in nuances of curvature. Only one species is figured (fig. 127). Variation also occurs in the pronotal carinae, tegminal venation, and color pattern. J. succinea and producta have the Sc+R fork distad of the CUI fork; indella and unimaculata have them about equal, distad of the claval union, and specimens of majuscula have the Sc+R fork just distad of the CUI fork, near the union of the claval veins. Two species, producta and indella, show differences in coastal and Sierran populations.

Key to species of Juniperthia from O’Brien, 1971
1. Vertex longer than broad … producta (Van Duzee)
1- Vertex broader than long … 2

2. Vertex as long as pronotum at midline, Arizona … majuscula (Van Duzee)
2-Vertex longer than pronotum at midline, California and Nevada … 3

3. Tegmina with Sc+R forking distad of the level of Cu, fork, near level of apex of clavus …  succinea (Van Duzee)
3- Tegmina with Sc+R and Cu, forking near the same level, near union of claval veins … 4

4. Tegmina with a single white area at union of claval veins, otherwise pale yellowish-brown; small species, 3.8 to 4.8 mm … unimaculata O’Brien
4- Tegmina patterned, not as above; larger species, 4.6 to 6.7 mm … indella (Ball)


Photos by Kimberley Shropshire (University of Delaware)

Line art from O’Brien (1971) (#45 is forewing, 46 is apex of hind wing)

Faces of Juniperthia species from O'Brien 1971

Faces of Juniperthia species from O’Brien 1971


Wing of Juniperthia producta

Wing of Juniperthia producta (redrawn by Kimberley Shropshire from O’Brien 1971)

head and thorax of achilidae

Head and thorax (dorsal view) of achilids from the genera Momar, Juniperthia and Xerbus


Online Resources

Discover Life.
Hoppers of North Carolina. (not present in the east)
Kunzweb Gallery. (Link is to Achilidae, genus not present)
American Insects. (Link is to Achilidae, genus not present)
BOLD. (Link is to Achilidae, genus not present)


Most often taken at lights.

Molecular resources:

No data for this genus appears on GenBank or Barcode of Life (as of May 2017).

Selected references:

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

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.

Elliott, W.R., J. R. Reddell, D. C. Rudolph, G.O. Graening, T. S. Briggs, D. Ubick, R. L. Aalbu, J. Krejca, S. J. Taylor. 2017. The Cave Fauna of California. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Series 4, 64 (Supplement 1): 1-311, 118 figs., 25 tables.

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).

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.

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

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.

O’Brien, L. B. 1985. New synonymies and combinations in New World Fulgoroidea (Achilidae, Delphacidae, Flatidae, Fulgoridae: Homoptera). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 78(5): 657-662.

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.

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)

Van Duzee, E. P. 1912a. Hemipterological gleanings. Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Science 10: 477-512.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1915c. New genera and species of North American Homoptera. Journal of Entomology and Zoology 7: 109-121.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1916. Notes on some Hemiptera taken near Lake Tahoe, California. Technical Bulletin. University of California, College of Agriculture, Agricultural Experiment Station. Entomology 1: 229-249.

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email