Plants and Animals

Limotettix elegans Elegant spikerush leafhopper

Key Characteristics

A yellow leafhopper, ranging in size from 3.1 to 4.1 mm (females larger). The posterior of pronotum and tegmina are dark brown in the male and reddish brown in the female. The face is ivory with black and brown bands, the femur is banded with black, and the ventral abdomen is pale brown (WI DNR). A leafhopper using Eleocharis as host is likely to be Limotettix.

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
Wayne 1 1994

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 include wet prairie and alvar in association with small spikerushes (e.g., Eleocharis elliptica, E. compressa, E. obtusa, and other Elocharis species).

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

Mowing should be limited to early spring and late fall. Prescribed burning may be conducted to control shrub invasion but should be done on a rotational basis. The fire intensity should be such that succession is set back but the host plants, Eleocharis species are able to regenerate and thrive. 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 first week of July to fourth week of August

Survey Methods

The best way to survey for this leafhopper 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. Dew should be off the grass and the wind light or calm.

Sweep net

Survey Period: From first week of July to fourth week of August

Time of Day: Daytime
Humidity: Humid
Cloud Cover: Clear
Air Temperature: Warm
Wind: No Wind


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. 2014. Canadian Grasslands and Their Endemic Leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae). In Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands (Volume 3): Biodiversity and Systematics Part 1. Edited by H. A. Cárcamo and D. J. Giberson. Biological Survey of Canada. pp. 311-345.  © 2014 Biological Survey of Canada. ISBN 978-0-9689321-6-2