Acinopterus angulatus Lawson 1922b: 119

Angulate leafhopper , Leafhopper

Published in: Lawson, P.B. (1922b) The genus Acinopterus (Homoptera, Cicadellidae). The University of Kansas science bulletin., 14, 111–142.

Description & Identification

Medium size, robust species. male 5.10—5.90 mm., female 5.80—6.20 mm. (Nielson, 1968)General colour polished tan to dark brown. Crown tan; pronotum tan, unicolorous; elytra brown, apex dark brown.(Nielson, 1968)Pygofer in lateral aspect about as long as wide, caudal margin broadly truncate; aedeagus in lateral aspect with narrow, paired basal processes on ventral margin, processes curved laterodistad in ventral aspect; aedeagal shaft broad basally, tubelike distally; gonopore apical; style in dorsal aspect constricted at middle, apex shallowly concave, several small teeth on inner apical margin; female seventh sternum in ventral aspect with caudal margin truncate, notched medially. (Nielson, 1968)This is the only species in the genus Acinopterus that is a reported vector of plant viruses. (Nielson 1968)

Biology & Ecology

The biology of this species is fairly well known. Host plants in the Leguminosae are preferred. It has been collected from alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), Spanish clover (Lotus purshianus (Benth.) Clements & Clements), wild licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh), and Ladino clover (Trifolium repens L.) in California by DeLong and Severin in 1947 [194]. Nielson and Currie in 1962 [566] found abundant populations in alfalfa in Arizona. Linnavouri in 1959 [461] reported it from weeds, grasses, and pastures composed of Bidens pilosa L.I and coworkers (unpublished data) have completed a study of its life history and behavior. The results were as follows: Precopulation period averaged 3.5 days, copulation 75 minutes, preoviposition 2.5 days, and oviposition 48 seconds. The period from egg to adult averaged 41.5 days. Nymphal production averaged 224.3 for once-mated females and 188.1 for multiple-mated females. The greatest number of nymphs produced by a female was 621. Longevity of once-mated females averaged 68.2 days whereas females caged continually with a male lived on an average of only 45.2 days. All observations were on insects caged on alfalfa plants in the greenhouse, Severin and Frazier in 1945 [709] recorded average longevity of males as 32 days and females as 22 days on onion plants. (Nielson, 1968)


Lawson 1922b: 119


Acinopterus reticulatus (Fabricius, 1794)
Cicada reticulata Fabricius, 1794
Iassus reticulatus (Fabricius, 1794)
Cicada smidtii Turton, 1802
Acinopterus spatiosus Lawson, 1930
Athysanus fabricii Metcalf, 1955

Common Names (full list)

Angulate leafhopper
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Source: Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species - Hawaii, United States (ver.2.0, 2022)

Additional Images

Images provided by GBIF data providers. We cannot verify that identifications are correct.

Worldwide Distribution

This species occurs in the United States, Mexico, Central America, West Indies, and parts of South America. (Lawson 1922) [440] described it from Washington, D.C., Yucatan, Mexico, and the Southwestern United States. It is common throughout California (DeLong and Severin 1947) [194] and Arizona (Nielson and Currie 1962) [566]. Linnavouri in 1959 [461] examined specimens from Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and Columbia. Caldwell and Martorell in 1952 [121] reported it from Puerto Rico. (Nielson, 1968)

North America
South America

Distribution point data provided by GBIF.

Vector Status

Economic Crops


This species is a vector of the western strain of North American aster yellows virus. Severin and Frazier in 1945 [709] were first to report this species as a vector of this virus in California. Transmission to onion was effected, and later Severin in 1947 [699] obtained transmissions from diseased celery and aster to healthy celery and aster. The average percentage of infection from celery to celery varied from 29.8 to 51.9 and from aster to aster 9.1 to 18.7. The virus was also transmitted from celery to aster and aster to celery. Percent inoculations were always higher on celery.The minimum latent period of the virus in adults ranged from 11 to 26 days and averaged 18.4 days. Only one female retained the virus for 51 days whereas other vectors caused only initial infections. Attempts to transmit curly top virus of sugarbeet and Pierce’s disease of grape were not successful. This species was able to induce viruslike symptoms on celery that were caused by toxic saliva (Severin 1947) [700].(Nielson 1968)This species is considered of some importance in the spread of aster yellows virus in California and of potential importance of the virus elsewhere.(Nielson 1968)

Plant Diseases


Nielson, M. W. 1968b. The leafhopper vectors of phytopathogenic viruses (Homoptera, Cicadellidae). Taxonomy, biology and virus transmission.

Severin, H.H.P. 1947a. .

Acinopterus angulatus, a newly discovered leafhopper vector of California aster-yellows virus. Hilgardia, 17: 197-205


Trivellone, V., 2019.

Hemiptera-Phytoplasma-Plant dataset (v1.2) [Data set]


Severin, H.H.P. 1947a. Acinopterus angulatus, a newly discovered leafhopper vector of California aster-yellows virus. Hilgardia, 17: 197-205

Purcell, A.H. 1979. Transmission of X-disease agent by the leafhoppers Scaphytopius nitridus and Acinopterus angulatus. Plant Disease Reports, 63: 549-552

* Citations of Phytoplasma occurrance in Acinopterus angulatus Lawson 1922b: 119 have been exctracted from the database of Hemiptera-Phytoplasma-Plant (HPP) biological interactions worldwide (Valeria Trivellone. (2019). Hemiptera-Phytoplasma-Plant dataset (v1.2) [Data set]. Zenodo.


Acinophorini Acinopterus Cicadellidae Deltocephalinae Membracoidea North America Other South America North American Aster Yellows Phytoplasma (16srI)

Acinopterus angulatus Lawson 1922b: 119 : Wilson M. R. & Turner J. A. 2021. Insect Vectors of Plant Disease. Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Available online at [ Accessed:  13/04/2024 ].
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Copyright information is included with each image where provided by third parties.