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Buffalo Treehopper

Buffalo Treehopper, Buffalo treehopper, Stictocephala bisonia, is an occasional pest of fruit trees in northern United states.

Buffalo Treehopper

Buffalo Treehopper

Buffalo Treehopper adult is green, 3∕8 inch long, triangleshaped when viewed from above and hump-backed when viewed from the side. The nymphs are spiny. Females lay eggs from July until October in the bark of the upper sides of small branches of apple, pear, cherry, prune, and quince trees. A row of slits is cut along the branch, and six to twelve eggs are laid in each slit. The slits heal and gradually enlarge, giving the branch a rough and scabby appearance.

Buffalo Treehoppers are quite common in temperate and tropical regions, most species are not collected frequently because they tend to be very patchily distributed and often occur high in the canopy of trees. The largest populations are often found on mature, isolated trees in meadows and savannas, possibly because populations of their predators and parasitoids are lower in such situations than in dense forests.

Life Cycle: Buffalo Treehoppers mate in the summer. Females lay eggs from July through October. Each female has a knife-like ovipositor that she uses to cut slits into a twig. In each slit she then lays up to 12 eggs. Eggs overwinter in the twigs.The following Spring, in May or June, treehopper nymphs hatch from the eggs. Nymphs look somewhat like adults, but are more spiny and don’t have wings.

Buffalo Treehopper

Buffalo Treehopper

Nymphs crawl down from their tree and feed on grasses and weeds. Over the next six weeks, nymphs shed their skins several times as they eat and grow. Each time, they look more and more like an adult. At the end of six weeks they have become adult Buffalo Treehoppers and return to trees.Both nymphs and adults suck sap for food. Favorite plants include: willows, elms, cherry, Black Locust, clovers, goldenrods, and asters.Buffalo Treehoppers only have one generation each year.

Damage: Buffalo Treehoppers suck plant juices. This feeding damage is slight, although the honeydew they produce supports the growth of sooty mold, which may blacken leaves and stems when treehoppers become numerous. Treehopper nymphs are commonly seen in clusters on plant stems.

Management: : Monitor by hand sweeping young trees and shrubs with a net. Monitor for adults from early July to the end of October, or until the first frost. Chemical control: Dormant oil sprays can be used to kill overwintering eggs.

Buffalo Treehopper

Buffalo Treehopper

Buffalo Treehopper species are occasionally considered pests of agriculture. These include the threecornered alfalfa hopper, which sometimes injures alfalfa and soybeans, and the buffalo treehopper, which is injurious to apple trees.

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