Physical Description

Type Information

Holotype for Stictocephala bisonia Kopp & Yonke
Catalog Number: USNM
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology
Collector(s): W. Craig
Year Collected: 1975
Locality: Columbia; Mo, Missouri, United States
  • Holotype:
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections


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Buffalo treehopper

The buffalo treehopper (Stictocephala bisonia) is a species of treehopper native to North America. It is also sometimes classified as Ceresa bisonia.[2]


Buffalo treehoppers are a bright green color and have a somewhat triangular shape that helps camouflage them so as to resemble thorns or a twiggy protuberance.[1][3][4] It gets its name from the vague resemblance of its profile to that of an American bison.[3] They grow to 6 to 8 millimeters (0.24 to 0.31 in) long and have transparent wings.[3][4]

Life cycle[edit]


S. bisonia mates during the summer months.[4] Males attract females with a song that, unlike similar songs used by cicada and crickets, are outside the sonic range audible to humans.[4] Females lay eggs from July to October using a blade-like ovipositor.[3][4] Up to a dozen eggs are laid in each slit made by the female.[3][4]

Nymphs emerge from the eggs the following May or June.[3][4] The nymphs, which resemble wingless adults, but have a more spiny appearance, descend from the trees where they hatched to feed on grasses, weeds, and other nonwoody plants.[3][4]

They molt several times in the following month and a half until they have reached adulthood.[4] Then they return to the trees to continue their life cycle.[4]


Both adult and immature buffalo treehoppers feed upon sap using specialized mouthparts suited for this purpose.[4] Black locust, clover, elm, goldenrod, and willow are among their favorite food sources.[4] It is also an occasional pest of fruit trees and is harmful to young orchard trees, especially apple trees.[4] It has become an invasive species in some parts of Europe.[2]


  1. ^ a b Jackman, John A. (2001-08-10). "Buffalo Treehopper". Texas Cooperative Extension. Texas A&M Entomology Department. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  2. ^ a b "buffalo treehopper", Encyclopædia Britannica (Online ed.), Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2008, retrieved 2008-07-14 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Buffalo Treehopper". Pennsylvania Tree Fruit Production Guide. Pennsylvania State University, College of Agricultural Sciences. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Moran, Mark (2004-04-05). "Buffalo Treehopper: Stictocephala bisonia". Study of Northern Virginia Ecology. Fairfax County Public Schools. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
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