Genus Alphina Stål, 1863

[Back to North American Fulgoridae]

Family Fulgoridae Latreille, 1807

Subfamily Poiocerinae Haupt, 1929

Tribe Poiocerini Haupt, 1929

Subtribe Calyptoproctina Metcalf, 1938

Genus Alphina Stål, 1863.

Type species (in original combination): Alphina nigrosignata Stål, 1863.




Southwestern US, Central America to northern South America (?)

Distribution of Alphina from FLOW

Distribution of Alphina from FLOW (as of 1 Jan 2021).

Recognized species

This genus has three species. [see Metcalf 1947: 77].

Alphina fryi Distant 1906: 194 – Brazil
Alphina glauca (Metcalf, 1923) – USA: AZ, TX (reported probably in error: USA: MS, NC, TN)
Crepusia glauca Metcalf, 1923: 173.
Alphina glauca (Metcalf, 1923); comb. by Metcalf 1938: 348-349.
Alphina nigrosignata Stål 1863: 244 – French Guiana

Note: Because the type specimen of Alphina glauca (Metcalf, 1923), is misplaced, it is not possible to determine whether this species is the same as Calyptoproctus marmoratus Spinola, 1839. The type specimen of Alphina glauca is from Brownsville, Texas (paratypes from Arizona), and at least one potentially undescribed species is known from Texas, Arizona, and Mexico. It is also evident that these species (i.e., Alphina glauca and Calyptoproctus marmoratus) are not correctly placed in either Alphina or Calyptoproctus (or Crepusia), but it is not clear which genus these species should be placed.  This problem is the subject of an ongoing study. Molecular data has confirmed that the eastern and western taxa are not the same.

Economic Importance


Plant Associations 

None reported (but possibly on trunks of deciduous trees).

Host from Wilson et al. (1994); plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


Head not strongly produced, head with eyes narrower than pronotum; transverse carina at posterior margin of pronotum; sides of frons not parallel, widened in distinct lobe just above clypeal suture; ninth abdominal tergite of female elongate, medially carinate, usually hiding tenth and eleventh; forewings almost translucent, mottled with dark and clear areas.

Alphina nigrosignata type specimen

Alphina nigrosignata (type specimen; photo courtesy Geert Goemans, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Connecticut; specimen loaned from Herbert Zettel from The Museum of Natural History Vienna (NHMV).

Alphina glacua

“Alphina glacua” from Mexico

Crepusia glauca (Alphina) from Metcalf 1923 compiled

Alphina glauca (as Crepusia glauca) from Metcalf 1923 compiled

Wings of Alphina glauca by salvador vitanza

Wings of Alphina glauca (From Madera Canyon, Santa Cruz County, Arizona) by Salvador Vitanza.

Online resources

Discover Life.
Extension Entomology in El Paso County. (Salvador Vitanza)


“Alphina glauca” comes to lights.  It may be possible to find on the trunks of trees (Populus sp.?).

Molecular resources

Genbank has several genes for Alphina glauca; Barcode of life has data for A. glauca and a second taxon (which appears to be a manuscript name).

Selected references

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.

Distant, W. L. 1906. Rhynchotal notes xxxix. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 7) 18: 191-208.

Dozier, H. L. 1928 [dated 1922 or 1926]. The Fulgoridae or planthoppers of Mississippi, including those of possible occurrence. Technical Bulletin of the Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station 14: 1-152.

Haupt, H. 1929b. Neueinteilung der Homoptera-Cicadina nach phylogenetisch zu wertenden Merkmalen. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systemetik, Okologie und Geographie der Tiere. Jena 58: 173-286.

Latreille, P. A. 1807. Sectio secunda. Familia quarta. Cicadariae. Cicadaires. Genera Crustaceorum et Insectorum secundum ordinem naturalem in familias disposita, iconibus exemplisque plurimis explicata 3: 1-258.

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. (see p. 173)

Metcalf, Z. P. 1938. The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard Coll. 82: 277-423. (see P. 348)

Metcalf, Z. P. 1947. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV Fulgoroidea. Part 9 Fulgoridae. Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts.

Porion, T. 1994. Fulgoridae I: catalogue illustre de la faune americaine. Sciences Nat, Venette.

Urban J. M. and J. R. Cryan. 2009. Entomologically famous, evolutionarily unexplored: The first phylogeny of the lanternfly family Fulgoridae (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 50: 471-484.

Stål, C. 1863. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Fulgoriden. Entomologische Zeitung. Herausgegeben von dem entomologischen Vereine zu Stettin 24: 230-251.

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.

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