Lepyronia gibbosa
Great Plains spittlebug

Key Characteristics

Adult Great plains spittlebugs are small (males 6.9 - 7.2 mm, females 8.2 - 9.6 mm) tawny colored insects. Their body is covered with fine gray hairs and the forewings usually have dark brown V-shaped marks that form a triangle. Their hind tibia, used only for jumping, have two spurs on the outer edge and two rows of flared black-tipped spines at the end. The nymphs have not been described and may be subterranean.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G3G4

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Lake102006
Mason32001
Montcalm12002
Muskegon112011
Newaygo162011
Oceana92010
Van Buren22008
Distribution map for Lepyronia gibbosa

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Great plains spittlebug may also be found in old fields, right-of-ways, and forest openings if their host plants (prairie grasses) are there. They are found locally at drier sites with sandy or gravelly well drained areas.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Management

Avoid local population extinction by conducting prescribed burns over a portion of the available habitat on a rotation and limit the intensity of the burn to allow the host plants to regenerate. Burns should be conducted outside the active period. ORV trails should be directed around active sites.

Active Period

Active from fourth week of April to third week of October

Survey Methods

The best way to survey for adults of this species is to use a standard insect sweep net in suitable habitat. Several sweep samples may be needed to detect them in an area because the they occupy small areas within available habitat. Surveys should be conducted when the dew is off the grasses and the wind is low. Surveying for nymphs is not productive and may be destructive.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Oct 16, 2017]

References

Survey References

Technical References

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