Subject:  Unusual cicada??
Geographic location of the bug:  Vienna, Virginia
Date: 09/23/2017
Time: 04:39 PM EDT
Hello Bugman,
My horticulture friend sent me this photo of cicada like insects on a birch tree in September in northern VA, but the wings do not look cicada like and I have never seen “horns” on cicadas. They look positively creepy!
Can you help us identify?
How you want your letter signed:  Stumped gardener

Oak Treehopper Nymphs

Dear Stumped Gardener,
Is your friend certain these Treehopper nymphs were on a birch tree?  They are Oak Treehopper nymphs,
Platycotis vittata, based on this BugGuide image, and according to BugGuide, the habitat is:  “Forests and forest edges, parks, and anywhere Oak trees are found. Occasionally found on other trees, but these individuals were probably just resting on those non-Oak trees.”  Since nymphs cannot fly, they were likely feeding on the plant upon which they were found.  Treehoppers and Cicadas are both in the same superfamily, hence the resemblance.

Location: Vienna, Virginia

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