Cuerna costalis (Fabricius 1803a: 4)

Lateral-lined sharpshooter

Basionym: Cercopis costalis Fabricius, 1803
Published in: Fabricius, J.C. (1803a) Rhyngota. In Systema rhyngotorum: secundum ordines, genera, species: adiectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. C. Reichard. Brunsvigae. pp. 1–316.

Description & Identification

Large, robust species. Length of male 7.70—9.10 mm., female 8.20—9.60 mm. (Nielson, 1968)General color, reddish black to black with prominent yellow or ivory band running laterally from anterior margin of head to eighth tergum; head, pronotum, and scutellum black with numerous coarse yellow markings.(Nielson, 1968)Pygofer in lateral aspect about 11/3 times longer than wide, caudal margin convex; aedeagus in lateral aspect excluding atrial processes about 11/4 times longer than wide, shaft projecting posterodorsad with prominent tooth on each side of middle in caudal aspect; lateral atrial processes recurved, basal half projecting dorsad, apical half projecting caudad or ventrad, recurved part not exceeding apex of aedeagal shaft but extending caudad to or beyond caudal margin of atrium, curved slightly mesad in caudal aspect; caudal atrial processes long, slightly narrower than lateral atrial processes, nearly straight, projecting slightly anterodorsad beyond apex of aedeagal shaft, usually crossing over in caudal aspect; female eighth sternum in dorsal aspect single, broad, bellshaped plate about 11% times longer than seventh tergum; plate with anterior margin broad, lateral margins divergent laterad and broadly convex, caudal margin twice as broad as anterior margin and broadly concave or truncate and sinuate along middle. (Nielson, 1968)From yuccae, to which it is similar in male genital characteristics, costalis can be distinguished by the female eighth sternum, which has a single broad, bell-shaped plate, and by its geographical distribution.

Biology & Ecology

.— In 1955, Turner and Pollard (793) published an excellent account of the host plants, life history, and behavior of this species. It fed primarily on grasses year round and also on bow-growing herbaceous plants in the spring. Later it fed on taller annuals such as cotton, sunflower, ragweed, and seedlings of peach in association with grasses. In late summer and fall, it fed primarily on grasses. Thirty species were listed as host plants. Although it fed on young peach trees, there was no regular association with peach orchards or evidence of marked migration. The adults over-wintered under matted grass and started mating in January and February in Georgia. Eggs were laid in clusters in leaves of johnsongrass and bermudagrass and hatched in April.Mass rearing of the species on caged johnsongrass in the insectary was successful, and under these conditions adults mated only once and laid eggs that hatched in 23 to 32 days in March and April and 10 days in August. The nymphal stage averaged 59.5 days for the first generation, 57.7 days for the second, and 82.3 days for the third. Adult longevity averaged between 60 and 80 days among generations. Two complete generations and a partial third were completed annually. (Nielson, 1968)


(Fabricius 1803a: 4)


Cercopis lateralis Fabricius, 1798
Cercopis costalis Fabricius, 1803
Cercopis marginella Fabricius, 1803
Cicada costalis (Fabricius, 1803)
Oncometopia costalis (Fabricius, 1803)
Proconia costalis (Fabricius, 1803)
Tettigonia costalis (Fabricius, 1803)
Tettigonia pyrrhotelus Walker, 1851

Common Names (full list)

Lateral-lined sharpshooter
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist

Additional Images

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

Worldwide Distribution

United States: Alabama,Arkansas,Florida,Georg.,Indiana,Iowa,Kansas, Louisiana,Maryland,Mississippi,Missouri,Nebraska,New Mex.,New York,North Carolina,Ohio,Oklahoma,South Carolina,Tennessee,Texas,Virginia,DC,West Virginia(Metcalf Cat.); Canada:Ontario(Hamilton 1970a)

North America

Distribution point data provided by GBIF.

Vector Status

Economic Crops


This species is a vector of phony peach disease virus and Pierce’s disease virus of grape in Georgia. In 1949, Turner (792) first reported the transmission of phony peach disease virus in tests at Fort Valley, Ga. The efficiency of the vector was only 24.7 percent (Turner and Pollard 1955) [793]. Results of studies on the acquisition feeding period in the vector varied, but the species was able to acquire virus after 1 day on the source of inoculum. The latent period of the virus in the body of the vector varied from 5 to 12 days and in some individuals longer. Retention of the virus lasted from 91 to 152 days, and some individuals retained the virus after spending 54 days on a nonsusceptible host plant.Kaloostian et al, in 1962 (408) also reported this species as a vector of Pierce’s disease virus in Georgia. One positive inoculation was obtained after a 3-day virus acquisition and 21- to 105-day transmission feeding periods.(Nielson 1968)This species is not considered an important vector in the natural spread of these viruses owing to its primary association with grasses and herbaceous plants and low efficiency in transmitting the viruses.(Nielson 1968)

Plant Diseases


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


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

EFSA, 2019.

Pest categorisation of non-EU Cicadomorpha vectors of Xylella spp.


Cicadellidae Cicadellinae Cuerna Grape Membracoidea North America Peach Proconiini Phony peach disease Pierce's disease Xylella fastidiosa

Cuerna costalis (Fabricius 1803a: 4): 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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