Citrus flatid planthopper

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Citrus flatid planthopper
Metcalfa pruinosa MHNT.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Flatidae
Genus: Metcalfa
Species: M. pruinosa
Binomial name
Metcalfa pruinosa
(Say, 1830)

The citrus flatid planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa) is a species of insect in the Flatidae family of planthoppers first described by Thomas Say in 1830.[1]


The species is native to North America, but is today found throughout southern Europe[2][3] Spotted in Seoul in 2009,[4] it has since also been identified in orchards in the Chungbuk and Kyungnam provinces of South Korea.[5]

Behavior and ecological impact[edit]

Adult citrus flatid planthopper
Citrus flatid planthopper nymph
Citrus flatid planthopper larva

The adults are seen mainly in summer and fall, when they feed gregariously on sap. Adults, but especially larvae and nymphs, are covered with a white epicuticular wax. The adult is 4–7 millimetres (0.16–0.28 in) long and initially whitish, turning a light gray. The large and prominent compound eyes are yellow. The mouthparts are adapted for piercing and sucking. The trapezoidal forewings are held vertically, wrapping the body when the insect is at rest. The wings have several characteristic whitish spots.

When they feed on sap, they eject excess sugar in the form of honeydew. This attracts bees, which convert it to honey.

As it feeds, it causes serious damages to field crops and ornamental plants. It is polyphagous, feeding on a variety of plant taxa. Host plants include maples, dogwoods, hawthorns, willows, elms, privet, black locust, and elder. It lives on crop plants such as grape, citrus, apricot, peach, blackberry, and raspberry.

The species is univoltine, producing one generation per year. Adults mate in fall during the night. The females lay about 100 eggs, usually in the bark of host plants. Eggs overwinter, hatching the following spring.


  1. ^ "Common name: Citrus flatid planthopper". Featured Creatured. University of Florida Entomology and Nematology. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Kahrer, A. Introduction and possible spread of Metcalfa pruinosa (Cicadina; Flatidae) in Austria. Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe: Introduction and Spread of Invasive Species. Symposium. June 9–11, 2005. Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  3. ^ Bensusan, Keith; Perez, Charles. "The Citrus Flatid Planthopper Metcalfa pruinosa (Say, 1830) in Gibraltar" (PDF). Gibraltar Botanic Gardens. 
  4. ^ Kim, Yeyeun; Kim, Minyoung; Hong, Ki-Jeong; Lee, Seunghwan (December 2011). "Outbreak of an exotic flatid, Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) (Hemiptera: Flatidae), in the capital region of Korea". Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 14 (4): 473–478. doi:10.1016/j.aspen.2011.06.002. 
  5. ^ Lee, Y.H. "병해충발생정보". (in Korean). Hapcheon Agricultural Development and Technology Center. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 

External links[edit]