Buffalo Treehopper

Stictocephala bisonia

Copyright, Norbert Maczey

The Buffalo Treehopper is one of many treehoppers in our area. Treehoppers are small insects which usually mimic thorns, buds, or other plant parts. Treehoppers are usually strange-looking, brightly colored, jumping insects.

Buffalo Treehoppers are large for treehoppers. They grow up to 3/8 inch long. They are bright green and triangle-shaped. They have clear wings.

Buffalo Treehoppers live in woods, meadows, and fields.

Copyright, Bill Johnson

Slits made by female Buffalo Treehopper. Copyright, Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University

Buffalo Treehopper nymph. The Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association

Buffalo Treehoppers mate in the summer. Females lay eggs from July through October. Each female has a knife-like ovipositor that she uses to cut slits into a twig. In each slit she then lays up to 12 eggs. Eggs overwinter in the twigs.

The following Spring, in May or June, treehopper nymphs hatch from the eggs. Nymphs look somewhat like adults, but are more spiny and don't have wings.

Nymphs crawl down from their tree and feed on grasses and weeds. Over the next six weeks, nymphs shed their skins several times as they eat and grow. Each time, they look more and more like an adult. At the end of six weeks they have become adult Buffalo Treehoppers and return to trees.

Both nymphs and adults suck sap for food. Favorite plants include: willows, elms, cherry, Black Locust, clovers, goldenrods, and asters.

Buffalo Treehoppers only have one generation each year.

Male treehoppers call females with a song that humans can't hear.

Predators of treehoppers include insect predators, such as birds, spiders, mantids, toads, and others.

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University

Relationships in Nature:

FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Black Willow

Chinese Mantid

Black Willow

Black Willow H

American Elm

American Toad

American Elm

American Elm H

Black Cherry

Rabid Wolf Spider

Black Cherry

Black Cherry H

Black Locust

Daring Jumping Spider

Black Locust

Black Locust H

Red Clover

Five-lined Skink

Red Clover

Red Clover H

Goldenrod

Brown-headed Cowbird

Goldenrod

Goldenrod H

Black-eyed Susan

Carolina Chickadee

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan H

Bushy Aster

Tufted Titmouse

Bushy Aster

Bushy Aster H

Carolina Wren

Spined Micrathena

American Robin

Red-winged Blackbird

Spring Peeper

Relationship to Humans:

Buffalo Treehoppers are sometimes considered pests, especially in apple orchards, where they damage apple twigs if there are too many.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Arthropod
CLASS
Insect
ORDER
Homoptera
FAMILY
Membracidae
GENUS
Stictocephala
SPECIES
Stictocephala bisonia

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