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Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Buckelzirpen
• English: tree-hoppers
• Français: membracides
Spissistilus festinus (click on image to enlarge it)
Author: Gerald J. Lenhard, Louisiana State University
Source: IPM Images

Membracidae - (tree-hoppers)

This family contains more than 3,000 small cicada-like, sucking species of insects with a strong cuticle and with prominent projections on the pronotum of the adults. These are dorsal projections (sometimes with elaborate ornamentations) and/or lateral and posterior extensions which might cover a large part of the abdomen. The adults readily jump when disturbed like other fulgorid planthopper. The family belongs to the superfamily Membracoidea and is common in the Neotropics.

Many species are attended by ants which feed on their excreta. Several species are agricultural pests like the threecornered alfalfa hopper (Spissistilus festinus). The American buffalo treehopper (Stictocephala bisonia) has spread from North America to Europe.

For beneficial treehoppers see Membracidae (weed bioagents).

The following genera and individual species are currently entered under this family: