Plants and Animals

Lepyronia angulifera Angular spittlebug

species photo
Ryan P. O'Connor

Key Characteristics

Angular spittlebugs are small (males 4.0 - 4.4 mm, females 5.0 - 6.1 mm) compared to L. gibbosa with a weakly inflated sucking pump and a humpback. Their chocolate coloration and blackish brown V-shaped markings on the forewings may also be seen upon close examination.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Barry32013
Calhoun11927
Jackson12009
Kalamazoo12008
Lenawee11999
Oakland12007
Van Buren22009
Washtenaw22008

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

This species feeds on a wide variety of plants but is closely associated with prairie fens and in particular it host plant, spike-rush (Eleocharis sp.).

Natural Community Types

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 Recommendations

Prescribed burns may help set back shrub encroachment but intense burns over an entire site may be detrimental to the population through direct losses or indirectly by loss of host plants. The fire should be light to moderate and conducted on a rotational basis to ensure some habitat is always present. Generally, insecticides and herbicides should not be applied, however, selective treatment of woody vegetation (e.g. basal stem or stump application) may be an option to control these plants where prescribed burning is not feasible.

Active Period

Active from third week of April to third week of October

Survey Methods

The best way to survey for this species is to use a standard insect sweep net in suitable habitat. Several sweep samples may be needed to detect adults of this species in an area because they occur in small colonies within a limited portion of available habitat. Some adult spittlebugs have even been detected in spider webs so check these as well.

Sweep net

Survey Period: From fourth week of April to fourth week of May

Time of Day: Daytime

Survey Period: From third week of August to third week of October

Time of Day: Daytime

References

Survey References

  • Borror, D.J. and R.E. White. 1970. A Field Guide to the Insects of North America and Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 404pp.
  • Martin, J.E.H. 1977. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada (Part 1): Collecting, preparing, and preserving insects, mites, and spiders. Publication 1643. Biosystematics Research Institute, Ottawa.

Technical References

  • Hamilton, K.G.A. 1982. The spittlebugs of Canada. Homoptera: Cercopidae. The insects and arachnids of Canada, Part 10. Biosystems Research Institute, Ottawa. 102pp.