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Rich Staffen
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608-266-4340

Prairie Leafhopper (Polyamia dilata)


Overview

Overview

A Prairie Leafhopper (Polyamia dilata) a State Threatened leafhopper, is light gray to tan with wings shorter than the abdomen. Wings are veined with white and heavily margined with brown. The lower face is dark with pale arcs. Length 2.5-2.75 mm. Inhabitants of upland dry to dry mesic bluff prairies, sand prairies, or sandy barrens supporting prairie grasses.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Prairie Leafhopper (Polyamia dilata). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.


Documented locations of Polyamia dilata in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusTHR
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2
Global RankGNR
Tracked by NHIY
WWAP SGCN

Species guidance


Note: a species guidance document is not available at this time. Information below was compiled from publication PUB-ER-085-99 (now out-of-print).

Identification: A light gray to tan leafhopper with wings shorter than the abdomen. Wings are veined with white and heavily margined with brown. The lower face is dark with pale arcs. Ocelli (simple eyes) are present with a black spot just interior to them. Length 2.5-2.75 mm. Found by vigorous sweepnetting of the grasses in appropriate habitat. This species resembles others of the genus, but usually lacks the dark head pattern of many other Polyamia. Specimens of suspected P. dilata must be sent to a specialist for identification.

Habitat: Inhabitants of upland dry to dry mesic bluff prairies, sand prairies, or sandy barrens supporting prairie grasses. The host plant is unknown but may be little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) or one of the panic grasses of the subgenus Dicanthelium.

State Distribution: Occurs in Crawford, Dane, Iowa, Jackson, LaFayette, Monroe, Pierce, and Sauk Counties of Wisconsin.

Phenology: Feeds on grasses like other prairie specialist leafhoppers. Univoltine in the Midwest, adults are present from early August through September. Females deposit eggs into the grass tissue. The species spends the winter in the egg stage.

Management Guidelines: Preliminary observations indicate that P. dilata is fire sensitive. This species has been found in Wisconsin primarily on prairie sites that have never been burned or have been burned no more recently than 5-6 years ago.

Photos/Video

Photos


Prairie Leafhopper

Photo © Eric Maurer.


Last revised: Thursday, May 04, 2017