Species Account

BM(NHM).1937.789; Male; Det. Knight

BM(NHM).1937.789; Male; Det. Knight

BM(NHM).1967.464; Female; Det. DeLong; 'State Forest, Illinios, US'

BM(NHM).1967.464; Female; Det. DeLong; 'State Forest, Illinios, US'

BM(NHM).1937.789; Male; Det. Knight
NMW Image No. E001032

Oncometopia orbona (Fabricius 1798a: 520)

Membracoidea : Cicadellidae
Diseases Transmitted

Distribution Map
(simplified continental distribution)
Geographical Distribution:
North America, South America

Recorded Distribution(s):
United States,Brazil(Metcalf Cat.),United States(Young 1968a).

This is a predominant species in the Southeastern and Central United States. In 1959, Turner and Pollard (794) recorded it from Florida north to Maryland and west to Illinois, Missouri, and Texas. Schroder (670) reported it from northern Mexico in 1959. It may also occur in Arizona. (Nielson, 1968)

Oncometopia orbona (Fabricius 1798a: 520)
Diseases Transmitted Pathogen Type
Crops Affected by Oncometopia orbona (Fabricius 1798a: 520)
Rice Citrus Carrot
Barley Apple Tomato
Maize (Corn) Pear Potato
Sugarcane Elm Strawberry
Wheat Palms Rubus
Sorghum Grapevine Papaya
Other (grasses/cereals) Ornamentals Peach

This species is a vector of phony peach disease virus and Pierce’s disease virus of grape in Georgia. In 1949, Turner (792) first reported the transmission of phony peach disease virus by this species under the name of “Oncometopia undata (Fabricius).” Confirmation was obtained by Turner and Pollard in 1959 (795), who found that the species was the most efficient (33.0 percent) vector tested among four other leafhopper species. The vector became infective after an acquisition feeding period of 1 day, but usually required 3 to 4 days. The latent period of the virus in the insect was about 15 days. Tests indicated that this species was capable of transmitting the virus naturally, although as a vector it was not considered as efficient as coagulate. In 1962, Kaloostian et al. (408) reported this species as a vector of Pierce’s disease virus of grape in Georgia. Transmission was accomplished after a 3-day acquisition feeding period and a 21- to 105-day transmission feeding period.
(Nielson 1968)

This species is considered second in importance as a vector of phony peach disease virus and of some importance as a vector of Pierce’s disease virus of grape in Georgia.
(Nielson 1968)

Identification Plates
Oncometopia orbona

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Plate 1
Species Description

Very large, robust species. male 11.50—12.50 mm., female 12.00—12.80 mm.

General colour light brown to nearly black. Crown and pronotum light brown with black markings, surface coarsely rugulose; elytra brown to black, apex brown.

Pygofer in lateral aspect about as long as wide, caudal margin broadly convex, ventral margin with long spine projecting posteriorly; aedeagus in lateral aspect with large ventral spine, recurved, elongate, attenuated apically; aedeagal shaft with broad projection extending dorsad and narrow constricted distal process, distal process with sharp spine at apex, ventral surface of aedeagal shaft with sagittal groove; style in dorsal aspect simple, apex truncate; female seventh sternum in ventral aspect with caudal margin trilobed.

Species Diagnosis

This species is related to and sometimes confused with nigricans, but can be separated by the aedeagus with a very broad ventral process and a short curved process distad of the aedeagal shaft.

(Nielson 1968)


Host Plant Activity Period (Months) Dormancy Generations
- -
Eggs -
Nymphs -
Adult -
One per year -
Continuous -
Variable -
Oncometopia orbona (Fabricius 1798a: 520)

Higher taxonomy

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Superfamily Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Infraorder: Cicadamorpha
Membracoidea Cicadellidae
Subfamily: Cicadellinae
Oncometopia orbona (Fabricius 1798a: 520)
Nielson, M. W. 1968b. The leafhopper vectors of phytopathogenic viruses (Homoptera, Cicadellidae). Taxonomy, biology and virus transmission. United States Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin . 1382 386 pp.
Record last updated - 25/09/2019