Telamona monticola

Smiliine Treehopper

Telamona monticola, Treehopper






Family: Membracidae

Subfamily: Smiliinae

Length: 11 mm


Telamona monticola has brown punctate surfaces spotted with yellowish or greenish. The relatively large ocelli are greenish and are closer to each other than to the compound eyes.

The pronotal crest is about as long as it is high, and is rounded at the tip. The posterior process ("panhandle") does not reach the tip of the tegmina; this process is sharply pointed.

Kopp and Yonke (1974) reported the hosts as these oak species: Black Oak, White Oak, Red Oak, Chestnut Oak, Swamp Oak, Chinquapin Oak, Bur Oak, Shingle Oak, Northern Pin Oak, and Post Oak.

Funkhouser (1923) stated that the nymphs are found in the outer branches of oaks, feeding in the leaf axils, while the adults are usually found singly "on twigs of second year growth."

Jenella Loye (1982) studied the life history of Telamona monticola on three oak trees in a Delaware woodlot. Loye sleeved some of the hoppers, while others she studied using wooden scaffolding around a six meter tall Red Oak. The first instar nymphs appeared in late April, while adults were present by mid-June. Cool temperatures or rain curtailed the adults activities.

The usual resting position of an adult Telamona monticola was parallel to the top of a branch, with the head pointing toward the tree trunk. On cool days these hoppers tended to continue to cling to their branch when disturbed, while on warmer days their primary defense was to drop into the leaf litter.

Loye observed two matings of these treehoppers. Courtship was fairly quick but the matings were not. "The male ran towards the female and stopped when parallel to her, facing the tree trunk." The male gave a shudder and then climbed onto the female and the copulation began, but the male soon moved himself into the tail-to-tail position common in Hemiptera. One of the observed copulations lasted 5 hours and 2 minutes, while the other lasted 27 hours and 25 minutes.

Ovipositing occurred over a period of weeks, from late July to early September, and the species overwintered in the egg stage. The preferred egg-laying spot was the base of a bud.

Brimley (1961) states that the ants Crematogaster lineolata and Formica fusca "are attracted to the first and second instars of this and some other species of Telamona but not to the later stages."

This species is especially widespread, found from North Dakota to Quebec and Maine, and south and west to Nevada, New Mexico, and Florida. It is one of several Telamona species found in West Virginia; another is Telamona pyramidata.

Insects of West Virginia