Plants and Animals

Auridius sandaraca Sanders' golden leafhopper

Key Characteristics

A small, leafhopper, with male 2.9 to 3.3 mm in length and females 3.2 to 3.7 mm in length. Males are bright orange yellow to orange and unmarked except for the black tip of the rostrum. Females are ivory with two broad coronal stripes (Hamilton 1999).

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: GNR - Not ranked
State Rank: SNR - Not ranked


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Chippewa 1 2014

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.


This leafhopper occurs only on native grasslands in aspen woodlands where drought, or sandy soil, or limestone outcroppings prevent closed tree canopies. The host plant seems to be the native Poa pratensis var. arenaria J. & W., which is larger than the introduced European lawn grass ("Kentucky bluegrass," P. pratensis s.s.) and grows in sandy areas (Looman and Best 1987).

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

Maintain native grasslands with concentrations of host plants. Additional studies are needed to determine the habitat requirements of this species to inform management recommendations.

Active Period

Active from fourth week of June to fourth week of July

Survey Methods

Collection dates in Michigan range from 22 June through 27 July.

Sweep net

Survey Period: From second week of June to fourth week of July

Time of Day: Daytime
Humidity: Humid
Cloud Cover: Clear
Air Temperature: Warm
Wind: No Wind
Survey Method Comment: Survey in appropriate habitat


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. 1999. The nearctic leafhopper genus Auridius: Biology, polymorphism, and new species (Rhynchota : Homoptera : Cicadellidae). Canadian Entomologist 131(1): 29-52.