Colladonus clitellarius (Say 1830b: 309 )

Saddled leafhopper , The saddleback leafhopper

Basionym: Iassus clitellarius Say, 1830
Published in: Say, T. (1830b) Descriptions of new North American hemipterous insects belonging to the first family of the section Homoptera of Latreille. (Continued). Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 6, 299‚Äď314.

Description & Identification

Medium size, linear species. Length of male 5.19 mm., female 5.70 mm. (Nielson, 1968)General color brown to black with distinct yellow or ivory markings on body. Crown ivory with two small black spots on anterior margin; pronotum with distinct yellow or ivory transverse band; forewings black to brown with distinct yellow suboval spot on clavus.(Nielson, 1968)Pygofer in lateral aspect about twice as long as wide, ventral margin obtusely concave about middle, broadly convex at posterior part, caudal margin obtusely convex, dorsal margin with distal part slightly convex; pygofer spine well developed, long, lanceolate, straight, arising caudoventrally, projecting posterodorsally from caudal margin of pygofer; caudoventral marginal area with many minute setae; caudodorsal and dorsal submarginal areas with many long setae; aedeagus in lateral aspect with bifurcate processes short, less than one-half as long as aedeagal shaft, flat and broad at midlength, pointed apically, crossing in dorsal aspect; gonopore of aedeagus at midlength of shaft; style in dorsal aspect about twice as long as connective; stylar shaft about four times as long as basal width, produced posteriorly, with sides parallel, apex convex; stylar spine subapical, long, pointed apically, projecting laterally; female seventh sternum in ventral aspect twice as wide as long, lateral margins parallel, posterior margin obtusely concave on either side of median spatulate process; median emargination U-shaped, deep, about one-half length of segment; spatulate process long, about three times as long as basal width, produced beyond posterior margin, with side parallel, apex acutely bifid (Nielson, 1968)This species is similar in general habitus to montanus montanus and can be easily distinguished by the large yellow subquadrate spot on the clavus and style with a subapical lateral projection. (Nielson 1968)

Biology & Ecology

The biology of this species is well known. It is a general feeder, as evidenced by the number of plants from which it was collected. In 1954, Gilmer (314) collected adults from Prunus spp., alfalfa, birch, boxelder, elderberry, oak, willow, and Viburnum sp. Additional plants listed by Nielson in 1957 (561) were Acer saccharum Marsh., Buddleia sp., Wisteria sp., Salix serieca Marsh., Lombardy poplar, and goldenrod. George and Davidson in 1959 (303) collected it from mazzard (Prunus avium L.), lilac (Syringa vulgaris L.), wild grape (Vitis riparia Michx.), and chokecherry (Prunus virginiana L.). The most common host was boxelder (Acer negundo L.).In life-history studies from 1959 George and Davidson (303) reported that the insect overwintered in the egg stage in fallen leaves and the eggs hatched in April and May. Adults of the first generation appeared in early June and gradually increased in numbers until late June. Adults did not appear until early August. Populations increased in September and disappeared by late October. Two generations were evident in the field. Egg laying occurred in late June and late August. Nymphs of the spring generation hatched in about 2 weeks and fed on dandelion, nightshade, prickly lettuce, curled dock, sow thistle, and annual fleabane. In the greenhouse the life cycle from egg to adult averaged about 31 days at 70¬į F. The nymphs were reared on dandelion, their favorite host, and the adults were maintained on boxelder seedlings. (Nielson, 1968)


(Say 1830b: 309 )


Bythoscopus clitellarius (Say, 1830)
Collandonus clitellaria (Say, 1830)
Iassus clitellarius Say, 1830
Jassus clittellarius (Say, 1830)
Thamnotettix clitellarius (Say, 1830)
Thamnotettix cliterllarius (Say, 1830)
Thamnotettix clittelferius (Say, 1830)

Common Names (full list)

Saddled leafhopper
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Saddled leafhopper
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Saddled leafhopper
Source: Checklist of Vermont Species
The saddleback leafhopper
Source: Checklist of Vermont Species
The saddleback leafhopper
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
The saddleback leafhopper
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist

Additional Images

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

Worldwide Distribution

It is common in the United States and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. Nielson in 1957 (561) examined specimens from Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. (Nielson, 1968)

North America

Distribution point data provided by GBIF.

Vector Status

Economic Crops


This species is a vector of eastern X-disease virus of peach. First reports of transmission were published by Thornberry in 1954 (786) and confirmed by Gilmer that same year (314). The former investigator obtained one highly suspicious case in peach that resulted from a transfer of insects from vegetation surrounding diseased chokecherry to peach. The suspected vector was listed as 'Collandonus [sic] clitellarius.‚ÄĚIn 1954, Gilmer (314) obtained positive transmission to three chokecherry seedlings after the leafhoppers fed for 11 days on diseased chokecherry seedlings and 35 days on test plants.(Nielson 1968)This species is considered an important vector of eastern X-disease virus of peach in New York and Illinois.(Nielson 1968)

Plant Diseases


Gilmer, R.M., Palmiter, D.H., Schaefers, G.A., McEwen, F.L. 1966. Leafhopper transmission of X-disease virus of stone fruits in New York. New York State Agricultural Experiment (Geneva) Bulletin, 813: 22

Hill, G.T., Sinclair, W.A. 2000. Taxa of leafhoppers carrying phytoplasmas as sites of ash yellows occurrence in New York State. Plant Disease, 84: 134-138

Hill, G.T., Sinclair, W.A. 2000. Taxa of leafhoppers carrying phytoplasmas as sites of ash yellows occurrence in New York State. Plant Disease, 84: 134-138

* Citations of Phytoplasma occurrance in Colladonus clitellarius (Say 1830b: 309 ) 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.


Athysanini Cicadellidae Colladonus Deltocephalinae Membracoidea North America Peach

Colladonus clitellarius (Say 1830b: 309 ): Wilson M. R. & Turner J. A. 2021. Insect Vectors of Plant Disease. Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Available online at [ Accessed:  13/04/2024 ].
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