Oak Treehopper in California

Subject: Good or Bad Plant Bug
Location: Colfax, CA
April 18, 2015 10:23 pm
Attached are pictures of a bug found on the stem and leaves of some flowers we just potted. I don’t know if they are good for the flowers or not and I have not seen it before. I also can’t seem to find anything online when I researched it. Please help!
Signature: -Amy D

Oak Treehopper
Oak Treehopper

Dear Amy,
Good and bad are so relative, and there are many extenuating circumstances when making such evaluations.  We generally think of problematic insects as those that are introduced from other locations if they are able to get established and have no natural predators, because they often crowd out native species.  This Oak Treehopper,
Platycotis vittata, is a species that we get frequent identification requests regarding, but those requests are almost always from Florida.  We thought this might be an introduction from a nursery, but upon researching the Oak Treehopper on BugGuide, we learned that it is found along the west coast of North America as well.  According to BugGuide:  “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. … Does almost no damage to the host trees—leaves only a few twig scars from oviposition.”

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