Species of this family are present throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Issidae are small insects generally with a stocky body, as the wings mainly develop in width. Basic body coloration is not striking, usually shows brownish colors. The head has two ocelli. The forewings have strong pronounced ribs. They wrap the abdomen when the insect is at rest. The family includes approximately 1000 species with 215 genera, but the systematics of Issidae remains uncertain, with some of the subfamilies having been recently removed to a separate family, Caliscelidae.
In 2013, scientists described a biologically unique set of mechanical gears in an Issus nymph, though identical structures are known in most planthoppers, and were known for decades before the function of the gears was discovered
List of subfamilies
The family consists of the following subfamilies:
- Hemisphaeriinae Melichar, 1906
- Issinae Spinola, 1839
- Tonginae Kirkaldy, 1907
- Trienopinae Fennah, 1954
- K. Sander. 1957. Bau und Funktion des Sprungapparates von Pyrilla perpusilla WALKER (Homoptera - Fulgoridae). Zool. Jb. Jena (Anat.) 75, 383–388
- Burrows, Malcolm; Sutton, Gregory (2013-09-13), "Interacting gears synchronize propulsive leg movements in a jumping insect", Science 341 (6151): 1254-1256, doi:10.1126/science.1240284, lay summary – ScienceNews.org
- W. E. Holzinger, I. Kammerlander, H. Nickel: The Auchenorrhyncha of Central Europe - Die Zikaden Mitteleuropas. Volume 1: Fulgoromorpha, Cicadomorpha excl. Cicadellidae. - Brill, Leiden 2003
- Stephen W. Wilson – Keys to the families of Fulgoromorpha with emphasis on planthoppers of potential importance in the Southern United States -Florida Entomologist 88(4) Fcla.edu