Species Account

BM(NHM).1947.117; Male; Det. Oman; 'Palmdale, CAlifornia? US'

BM(NHM).1947.117; Male; Det. Oman; 'Palmdale, CAlifornia? US'

BM(NHM).1947.117; Male; Det. Oman; 'Palmdale, CAlifornia? US'
NMW Image No. E000919

Cuerna yuccae Oman & Beamer 1944b: 121

Membracoidea : Cicadellidae
Diseases Transmitted

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

Recorded Distribution(s):
United States:Arizona,California,Nevada,Utah (Nielson 1965a).

It is known only from the Western United States. Localities recorded by Nielson in 1965 (563) were Arizona: Alamo, Congress Junction; California: Antelope Valley, Apple Valley, Cajon Pass, Ivanpah, Palmdale, San Gabriel Mountains, Victorville; Nevada: Glendale, Las Vegas; and Utah: Leeds, St. George. (Nielson,1968)

Cuerna yuccae Oman & Beamer 1944b: 121
Diseases Transmitted Pathogen Type
Crops Affected by Cuerna yuccae Oman & Beamer 1944b: 121
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 Pierce’s disease virus of grape in California. Transmission of this virus was accomplished by feeding the insects infected grape and alfalfa for 1 or 2 days, then transferring them to healthy grape and alfalfa plants for 2 to 10 days (Freitag et al.) [1952]. Only 25-percent transmission occurred, indicating that the species was not an efficient vector of Pierce’s disease virus. In 1954, Freitag and Frazier [286] reported this species to be naturally infective after testing over 1,500 individuals collected from the Mohave Desert in California. Only 6.2 percent of 48 lots tested were infective.
(Nielson 1968)

The importance of this species is considered incidental in view of its outside host association and low transmission of the virus.
(Nielson 1968)

Identification Plates
Cuerna yuccae

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Plate 1
Species Description

Medium size, slightly robust species. male 6.2—7.5 mm., female 7.2—8.0 mm.

General color reddish gray to black with distinct yellow or ivory band running laterally from anterior margin of head to eighth tergum; head, pronotum, and scutellum with numerous yellow and black markings.

Pygofer in lateral aspect about 1½ times longer than wide, caudal margin convex; aedeagus in lateral aspect excluding atrial processes about 1% times longer than wide, shaft recurved with prominent tooth on each side of middle in caudal aspect; lateral atrial processes strongly recurved, projecting posteroventrad or caudad beyond caudal margin of atrium, broader than caudal atrial processes, recurved part below or just reaching apex of aedeagal shaft; caudal atrial processes long, narrow, nearly straight, slightly curved basally, projecting dorsad beyond apex of aedeagal shaft, usually crossing over in caudal aspect; female eighth sternum in dorsal aspect With two symmetrical triangular plates about one-half length of seventh tergum; each plate with anterior margin narrow, lateral margin strongly divergent, caudal margin broad, sinuate, nearly truncate, laterocaudal margin produced slightly posteriorly to narrow apices.

Species Diagnosis

This species, similar to costalis in male genital characteristics, can be separated by the female eighth sternum with its two triangular shape plates and its geographical distribution.

(Nielson 1968)


Host Plant Activity Period (Months) Dormancy Generations
- -
Eggs -
Nymphs -
Adult -
One per year -
Continuous -
Variable -
Cuerna yuccae Oman & Beamer 1944b: 121

Higher taxonomy

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Superfamily Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Infraorder: Cicadamorpha
Membracoidea Cicadellidae
Subfamily: Cicadellinae
Cuerna yuccae Oman & Beamer 1944b: 121
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