Treehopper Season: Smiliini

Have you ever wanted to give identifying your treehoppers a shot? Have you been overwhelmed by the lack of useful information available for doing so? And the seemingly infinite number of species that look practically identical? I have put together a very basic identification guide with some notes on BugGuide for the treehopper tribe Smiliini; genus Cyrtolobus and allies. Based on the past few years of looking at them, identifying them with @hopperdude215, tracking down types, and consulting with the experts of the group.


On the tribal page is a brief account of each genus and on the info page of each genus is a brief account of each species. I am still working to make the photos available as comprehensive as possible. I will be slowly populating the site with some better photographs for ID as time (and interest) allows. Nothing here is absolutely set in stone beyond the photographs of the types (everything I have been able to locate is on BugGuide). This won't really get easier—there are numerous undescribed species hiding in the eastern U.S.—but things will become more accurate as more data (photos!) ((specimens!)) become available.

So please look at some oak trees and make some observations if you feel so inclined.

Additionally, I am hoping that some of you may be able to observe the nymphs of Smiliini being tended by ants. Such mutualisms have been reported in literature, but photographic evidence of this does not exist for the tribe in the eastern U.S. The only instance for the tribe as a whole is this observation by @psyllidhipster, which also appears to be a novel record of gregarious behavior for the tribe. Smiliini nymphs will be found at the new growth of woody plants; most usually oaks, but numerous other trees.

P.S. someone should call Cyrtolobus or Smiliini "Windowed Treehoppers" or something.

I am tagging you, top observers of Smiliini:
@hoptoit @vcharny @bolickscott @woolcarderbee @kenkneidel @robvanepps @sambiology @stephane @tmurray74 @rkluzco @annieliveoak @ehjalmarson @hydaticus @johntrent @mangoverde @psweet @tfandre @vanremsen @amoorehouse @davidgeorge @imasongster @jtuttle @pierrickb @entomike

And treehopper people:
@hopperdude215 @micahfletcher @smckamey @brenolmorris @samjengland

Posted on May 09, 2024 03:55 AM by nomolosx nomolosx


Thanks Solomon - very useful! I do a lot of looking for caterpillars on oak trees, so will keep an eye out for the nymphs.

Posted by davidgeorge about 1 month ago

Thanks for doing this, Solomon. Looking forward to digging in.

Posted by vanremsen about 1 month ago

I'll keep an eye out for nymphs and ants.

Posted by tfandre about 1 month ago

SOLOMON!!! This is MAGNIFICENT. Massive, massive thanks for this journal post!
I love this group of insects, despite my ineptitude in providing proper ID's -- we're all extremely grateful for you and the other membracid ID'ers that continually give us guidance.

Posted by sambiology about 1 month ago

thanks all!

Posted by nomolosx about 1 month ago

Nice work!!!

Posted by mangoverde about 1 month ago

Thanks Solomon. Fantastic! And great leadership in this initiative.

Posted by rkluzco about 1 month ago

This guide will be extremely useful, thank you!!

Posted by jtuttle 13 days ago

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