Macrosteles laevis (Ribaut 1927a: 162 )

Basionym: Cicadula laevis Ribaut, 1927
Published in: Ribaut, H. (1927a) Trois esp√®ces nouvelles du genera Cicadula. (Homoptera). Bulletin de la Soci√©t√© d'Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse, 56, 162‚Äď169.

Described as Cicadula laevis Ribaut.(Wilson & Claridge 1991)

Description & Identification

Small, linear species. Length of male 3.20‚ÄĒ3.40 mm., female 3.40‚ÄĒ3.70 mm. (Nielson, 1968)General color light yellow. Crown yellow with two large black spots on anterior margin and two smaller spots on disk; pronotum and scutellum yellow; elytra translucent, veins yellow.Male abdomen: 2nd acrotergite with trunk widely V-shaped, broad triangularly produced ventrally; anterior processes shorter than 1/4 of trunk width; neck short, about 1/4 of trunk width. 2nd tergal apodeme with posterior lobes apparently exceeding beyond posterior margin of tergite. 1st sternal apodeme with posterior lobes usually as long as wide, or slightly variable. 2nd sternal apodeme with posterior lobes slightly exceeding twice as long as basal width. (Nielson, 1968)General coloration yellow to yellowish green. Median spots on vertex sometimes absent.Male genitalia (Figs 3.343, 3.344): Aedeagal shaft smooth cylindrical, curved distally in lateral aspect, apical processes about 2/3 length of shaft, gently curved anteriorly. Sternal apodemes Figs 3.341, 3.342.(Wilson & Claridge 1991)This species is similar to fascifrons in general habitus and male genital characteristics, but can be distinguished by the long, curved aedeagal processes, which are nearly as long as the aedeagal shaft.(Nielson 1968)

Biology & Ecology

The biology of this species is fairly well known. In Germany in 1955, Heinze and Kunze (346) reported it common on wheat and barley and other grains. The insects migrated to other grasses and eventually infested aster beds. There were three generations a year, and nymphs were most prevalent in May, early July, and the middle of August. They reared the insect in captivity on Plantago major L., P. lanceolata L., and Bellis perennis L. It also survived for long periods on aster (Callistephus sinensis Nees). In 1958, Maramorosch (482) reared the species on rye (Secale cereale L.) and wheat (Triticum sativum Lam.) in the greenhouse in New York. In breeding experiments with Macrosteles fascifrons the species was not able to crossmate. This was the second evidence of separation of two closely related species of Macrosteles based on biological data. In 1960, Musil (544) in Czechoslovakia found numerous populations on annuals and field crops and concluded that it was a polyphagous feeder. (Nielson, 1968)


(Ribaut 1927a: 162 )


Cicadula laevis Ribaut, 1927
Cicadula sexnotata laevis Ribaut, 1927

Common Names (full list)

Source: Taxon list of Auchenorrhyncha from Germany compiled in the context of the GBOL project
Source: National checklist of all species occurring in Denmark

Additional Images

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

Worldwide Distribution

Holarctic. (Wilson & Claridge, 1991)It is prevalent in Europe and Asia, but rare in North America. In 1952, Ribaut (643) recorded it from numerous countries in Europe, and Zachvatkin (885) found it in Russia. The only North American record was Alaska, reported by Beirne in 1952 (54).(Nielson, 1968)

North America

Distribution point data provided by GBIF.

Vector Status

Economic Crops


Recorded on a variety of grass species, including rice in Iran.(Wilson & Claridge 1991)This species is a vector of the European aster yellows, stolbur, and clover stunt viruses in Czechoslovakia. Evidence of transmission of aster yellows virus was first reported by Heinze and Kunze in 1955 (346). Field-collected specimens were allowed to feed on diseased plants for 8 days in some experiments and 2 to 3 weeks in others. Transmission was effected on three aster plants and three periwinkle plants after the leafhoppers fed from 7 to 15 days on a first series of plants and the remaining live insects transferred to feed on a second series for? to 15 days.Novak (571) reported transmission of this virus to onion. Transmission of stolbur virus was first reported by Valenta in 1958 (809) and Musil and Valenta in 1958 (553), and confirmed by Valenta et al. in 1961 (810). These workers transmitted the stolbur virus from infected clover to healthy clover. In 1958, Valenta (809) demonstrated transmission of clover stunt virus disease. In 1958, Maramorosch (482) was unable to transmit the American strains of eastern and western aster yellows virus with this species and thus proved that the European virus was different from the American type of aster yellows virus.(Nielson 1968)In Europe this species is a vector of oat blue dwarf, winter wheat mosaic, European aster yellow, and Stolbur disease (cf. Ossiannilsson, 1983: Conti, 1985). (Kwon MS)

Plant Diseases


Brcak, J. 1979. Leafhopper and planthopper vectors of plant disease agents in central and southern Europe. In: Leafhopper Vectors and Plant Disease Agents, eds, K. Maramorosch, KF Harris. pp. 97-146. London: Academic Press

Valenta, V., Musil, M., Misiga, S. 1961. Investigation on European yellows-type viruses. I. The stolbur virus. Phytopathologische Zeitschrift, 42, 1‚Äď38

Brcak, J. 1979. Leafhopper and planthopper vectors of plant disease agents in central and southern Europe. In: Leafhopper Vectors and Plant Disease Agents, eds, K. Maramorosch, KF Harris. pp. 97-146. London: Academic Press

Guclu, S., Ozbek, H. 1991. Studies on the vectors of MLOs caused stolbur disease of potatoes in Erzurum. Atat√ľrk √úniversitesi Ziraat Fak√ľltesi Dergisi, 22: 35-42

* Citations of Phytoplasma occurrance in Macrosteles laevis (Ribaut 1927a: 162 ) 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.


Asia Cicadellidae Deltocephalinae Europe Grasses/Cereals Macrosteles Macrostelini Membracoidea North America Rice Wheat

Macrosteles laevis (Ribaut 1927a: 162 ): Wilson M. R. & Turner J. A. 2021. Insect Vectors of Plant Disease. Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Available online at [ Accessed:  28/11/2023 ].
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