Genus Nersia Stål, 1862

[Back to North American Dictyopharidae]

Family Dictyopharidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Dictyopharinae Spinola, 1839

Tribe Nersiini Emeljanov, 1983 (sensu Emeljanov 2011)

Genus Nersia Stål, 1862
Type species (in original combination): Nersia haedina Stål, 1862.



Mostly a Neotropical genus, also found in southern (especially southeastern) US.

Distribution of Nersia from FLOW as of 1 Oct. 2018.

Recognized species

There are 13 recognized species [see Metcalf 1946: 54]. Melichar (1912) has a key to genus and species (in German), Metcalf 1938: 335 and Donovall 2008 have keys to genera].

New World

Nersia aridella Melichar, 1912: 71 – Brazil

Nersia chlorophana Melichar, 1912: 76 – Brazil

Nersia distinguenda (Spinola, 1839) – Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, French Guiana

Nersia florens Stål, 1862 [Distant 1906: 41; Metcalf 1946: 55]- USA: AR, FL, GA, IL, KS, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX*; Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico (Chiapas, Durango, Hidalgo, Guerrero, Morales, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Veracruz, Yucatán), Panama, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela (*US records require confirmation – most of these records may actually be N. florida)

Nersia florida Fennah, 1944: 89 – USA: FL, MS, TX; Mexico (Veracruz) (US records of N. florens may all actually be this species)

Nersia haedina Stål, 1862: 62 – Brazil, Costa Rica, Paraguay

Nersia nigrosignata Stål, 1862: 63 – Brazil (this species treated as jr syn of suturalis (Stal 1854) in Metcalf; Stål 1862: 63 seems to treat this name as a replacement name for Pseudophana suturalis Stål, 1854: 245.; Treated as jr. syn. of suturalis by Baptista 2006)

Nersia ornata Melichar, 1912: 76 – Guiana

Nersia pudica Stål, 1862: 64 (in key) – Brazil

Nersia recurvirostris Stål, 1862: 64 (in key) – Brazil

Nersia sertata (Jacobi, 1904) – Brazil, Uruguay

Nersia suturalis (Stål, 1854) – Brazil

Nersia viridis (Olivier, 1791) – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela.

Old World

Nersia fugax (Melichar, 1912: 137) – Cameroon (This species probably belongs to Afronersia Fennah, 1958, but either I have missed the transfer or this species has been missed in recent revisionary work).

Economic Importance:


Plant associations:

Nersia florens – Rumex crispus L. (curly dock, Polygonaceae); Ageratina altissima (L.) King & H. Rob. (white snakeroot, as Eupatorium rugosum Houtt., Asteraceae); Phaseolus sp. (Fabaceae)

Information on food plants, life history, biology and rearing of Nersia florens are provided by Wilson & McPherson 1981.

Hosts from Donovall (2008), Maes & O’Brien 1988, Wilson et al. 1994; plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


North of Mexico, one of only 3 macropterous, ‘green’ (in life) genera. Tegula carinate, head wedge-shaped in lateral view wedge-shaped, not upcurved (both unlike Mitrops); pronotum shallowly notched (deeply in Rhychomitra).

Nersia sertata and Nersia haedina are redescribed by Pulz & Carvalho, 2006.

Description of genus (Translated from Stal 1852 in Donoval 2008)

Head projected in front of eye, sometimes conically- or cylindrically-shaped; frons
tricarinate medially, rarely diminished, complete, median continuing onto clypeus. Prothorax angulate, shortened, posteriorly angularly emarginate, often when the scutellum is tricarinate. Forewings longer than the abdomen, the median longitudinal vein meeting the exterior (radial) vein near the base, reticulate beyond the middle, greatly areolate, variably arranged overall, marked with transverse veins, not reticulated. On foot slender, rather lengthy; hind tibiae armed with four regularly extending spines, one subposteriorly.

Genus description from Fennah 1944: 89:

Vertex longer than broad, rarely broader than long, triangular, lateral margins converging apically, not quite meeting at apex, median carina distinct at base, lateral margins of frons visible from above; frons scarcely more than twice as long as broad in middle, sometimes less than this, lateral margins parallel in basal half, ampliate before suture, median carina percurrent, sometimes feeble in basal half, lateral carinae distinct, roundly united above, obsolete in apical third. Pronotum anteriorly convex, disc produced, posteriorly obtusely excavate, median notch small, not deep, median carina distinct, lateral carinae weak, not reaching posterior margin, upper marginal carina thickened; mesonotum tricarinate. A white line from apex of head to costa, costa piceous below. Protibiae not exceptionally long, rather slender, post-tibiae with four spines. Tegmina with R forked basad of stigma by a third of its length, M forked once near middle of tegmen, Cu forked a little basad of M fork, stigma with three cells, eight areoles adjoining nodal line, four or five rows of areoles in membrane, apical areoles usually not twice as long as wide. Wings with R four or five-branched at margin. Aedeagus devoid of a pair of basal spines. Ovipositor with first valvulae beset dorsally with three spines, a second row of three spines on ventral margin distally, third valvulae subquadrate, bluntly pointed on apical margin. Bursa copulatrix ornamented with sclerotised circles or ovals each bearing two or three club-like processes directed medially, pustulate at apex.


Nersia florens (Photos by Rick Donovall or Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Nersia florens (Photos by Rick Donovall or Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Nersia haedina from Donovall 2008

Online Resources.
Discover Life.


Occasionally to lights or sweeping.

Molecular resources: 

As of this writing, there appears to be no molecular data for this genus on Genbank.  Nersia florida is in Barcode of life.

Selected references:

Baptista, M.d.S. 2006. Taxonomia de Fulgoroidea no Brasil (Insecta: Hemiptera: Auchenorrhynca), com Enfase em Dictyopharidae. Universidade Federal se Vicosa. Doctoral Thesis

Baptista, M. S., P. S.F. Ferreira and E. R. Da-Silva. 2006Mitrops Fennah, 1944 (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Dictyopharidae) from Brazil: a new species of and addtional records. In: Taxonomia de Fulgoroidea no Brasil (Insecta: Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha), com ênfase em Dictyopharidae. Tese, Universidade de Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brasil Artigo 1: 19-35.

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.

Berg, C. 1879b. Hemiptera Argentina (Continuacion). Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina 8: 178-192.

Distant, W. L. 1906i. Rhynchota (Heteroptera – Homoptera) Vol. III. In: C.T. Bingham, (ed.). The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor & Francis, London. vol. 3 pp. i-xiv, 1-503. [P. 39, Nersia syn with Dictyophara]

Distant, W. L. 1906n. Rhynchotal notes xl. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Ser. 7) 18: 349-356. [Include Nersia as syn with Dictyophara]

Doering, K.C. 1956 The taxonomic value of the pretarsal structures in the classification of certain Fulgoroidea. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37: 627-643.

Donovall, L. R., III. 2008. A generic revision of the new world Dictyopharinae (Hemiptera: Dictyopharidae). Masters Thesis. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Emeljanov, A. F. 1983. Cretaceous planthopper from Taimyr (Homoptera, Dictyopharidae). OR Dictyopharidae from the Cretaceous deposits on the Taymyr Peninsula (Insecta, Homoptera). Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal 3: 79-85. [Russian Translated in: Paleontological Journal 17(3): 77-82]

Emeljanov, A. F. 2008. New genera and new species of the family Dictyopharidae (Homoptera), with notes on the systematics of the subfamily Dictyopharinae. Entomological Review 88: 296-328. [English translation]

Emeljanov, A. F. 2011. Improved tribal delimitation of the subfamily Dictyopharinae and description of new genera and new species (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea, Dictyopharidae). Ėntomologicheskoe Obozrenie 90(2): 299-328 [In Russian, English Translation, Entomological Review 91(9): 1122-1145].

Fennah, R. G. 1944. New Dictyopharidae from the New World (Homoptera : Fulgoroidea). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 57: 77-94.

Gibson, E. H. 1917b. A key to the species of Dictyophara Germ. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 12: 69-71.

Gerstaecker, C. E. A. 1862. Bericht über die wissenschaftlichen Leistungen im Gebiete der Entomologie während des Jahres 1861.  Archiv Für Naturgeschichte 28(2) 273-571. [see pp. 489-508] [Nersia p. 502; The article is a summation of recent taxonomic work; similar summations occur in the next several volumes]

Hesse, A. J. 1925a. Contributions to a knowledge of the fauna of South-West Africa. IV. A list of the heteropterous and homopterous Hemiptera of South-West Africa. Annals of the South African Museum 23: 1-190. (Nersia noted as syn. of Dictyophara)

Kirkaldy, G. W. 1913. On some new species of leafhoppers. Part 1. Bulletin. Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association Experiment Station. Division of Entomology 12: 7-27. [Nersia distinct] [Published post-humously with F.A.G. Muir]

Maes, J. M. and L. B. O’Brien. 1988. Catalogo de los Fulgoroidea (Homoptera) de Nicaragua. Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia 2: 27-42.

Melichar, L. 1912a. Monographie der Dictyophorinen (Homoptera). Abhandlungen der K. K. Zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien. 7 (1): 1-221. Plate(s): 1-5. (Nersia begins P. 68)

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(3): 139-230, plus 32 plates. [available from]

Metcalf, Z. P. 1938a. The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard College 82: 277-423.  [from]

Metcalf, Z. P. 1946. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV Fulgoroidea. Part 8 Dictyopharidae. Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts. [see P. 54]

Pulz, C. E. and G. S. Carvalho. 2006. As espécies de Nersia (Hemiptera, Fulgoromorpha, Dictyopharidae) do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. [The species of Nersia(Hemiptera, Fulgoromorpha, Dictyopharidae) from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil]. Iheringia. Série Zoologia 96(1): 75-80.

Signoret, V. 1862b. Note sur le Catalogue des Homoptères du Museum Britannique par C. Stål. Ph. -Dr. de Stockholm, traduction du travail publié dans le Journal of Entomology, no. VI, 1862, p. 477. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (4) 2: 589-594.

Spinola, M. 1839a. 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. 1862e. Bidrag till Rio Janeiro-traktens Hemipterfauna II. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar 3(6): 1-75. [pdf is only Fulgoroid portion]

Stål, C. 1864a. Hemiptera mexicana enumeravit speciesque novas descripsit. (Continuatio). Entomologische Zeitung (Herausgegeben von dem entomologischen Vereine zu Stettin) 25: 49-86. (translation) [Nersia p. 50]

Stål, C. 1869a. Hemiptera Fabriciana. Fabricianska Hemipterarter, efter de Köpenhamn och Kiel förvarade typexemplaren granskade och beskrifne. 2. Handlingar. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps Akademien 8(1): 1-130.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1914c. Nomenclatural and critical notes on Hemiptera. Canadian Entomologist 46: 377-389. [asserts synonymy of Nersia with Dictyophara]

Van Duzee, E. P. 1916a. Check list of Hemiptera (excepting the Aphididae, Aleurodidae and Coccidae) of America North of Mexico. New York Entomological Society, New York. 111 pp. [see p. 78 onward]

Van Duzee, E. P. 1917b. Catalogue of the Hemiptera of America North of Mexico (excepting the Aphididae, Coccidae and Aleurodidae). University of California Publications, Technical Bulletins, vol. 2. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. i-xiv, 1-902. [from Google books] [see p. 716 onward]

Wilson, S. W. and J. E. McPherson. 1981. Notes on the biology of Nersia florens (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea: Dictyopharidae) with descriptions of eggs, and first, second and fifth instars. Great Lakes Entomologist 14(1): 45-48.

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