Agalliopsis novella (Say)

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, 299–314.

Description & Identification

Small, linear species. Length of male 3.40—3.50 mm., female 3.90—4.25 mm. (Nielson, 1968)General colour light brown to nearly black; males usually darker. Vertex with four small black spots; pronotum deeply infuscated with black in males, light brown with two dark spots in females; elytra light to dark brown.(Nielson, 1968)Pygofer in lateral aspect about as long as wide, caudodorsal margin distinctly produced posteriorly to broad convex lobe; distinct, unique spine, arising from inner margin of lobe, spine toothed or serrate at apex; aedeagus in lateral aspect with pair of distinct ventral processes, shaft flattened laterally; gonopore on ventral surface of shaft at about middle; style in dorsal aspect with distal half bibbed, inner lobe sharply pointed apically, inner margin of outer lobe toothed apically; female seventh sternum in ventral aspect with caudal margin deeply and broadly excavated. (Nielson, 1968)This is the only species in the genus Agalliopsis that is a known vector.This species may undergo restriction owing to structural variation of the pygofer spine. Oman (1933) found differences in the shape of the pygofer spine among populations collected from numerous localities in North America, but he was unable to determine the significance of this character owing to paucity of specimens. It is essential that this problem be restudied thoroughly in view of the economic importance of the species. It is beyond the scope of this bulletin to present an elucidation of the various forms assigned to the species. The form used by Black in (1944) in his experiments was collected from Washington, D.C., and was illustrated by Oman in 1933 (576, p. 87, fig. 14, G).(Nielson 1968)

Biology & Ecology

Investigations of the biology’ are greatly needed for this, important vector. Known hosts are alfalfa and clover (Beirne 1956) [58], and (Black 1944) [81] has reared the species on crimson clover. Osborn and Ball in 1898 (607) found nymphs in January and July in Iowa. Adults were common through July, and the insect over-wintered in the nymphal stage in rubbish on the ground. (Nielson, 1968)




Agallia novella (Say, 1830)
Iassus novellus Say, 1830
Idiocerus novellus (Say, 1830)
Jassus novellus Say, 1830
Agalliopsis nobilis (Glover, 1878)

Additional Images

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

Worldwide Distribution

It is widely distributed in the United States and Canada (DeLong and Davidson 1931 , Oman 1933, Beirne 1956. Typical novella is common in the Eastern United States and Canada whereas atypical forms occur in the Southern and Western United States. Specimens have been examined from Colorado, Florida, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. (Neilson, 1968)

North America

Distribution point data provided by GBIF.

Vector Status

Economic Crops


This species is a vector of the New York and New Jersey strains of potato yellow dwarf virus, clover club leaf virus, and wound tumor virus of clover in the Eastern United States. Transmission of the two viruses and two strains of the third virus was obtained by Black (81) in 1944 in his experiments with different species of agalliine leafhoppers. This species readily transmitted clover club leaf and wound tumor viruses, but rarely transmitted the New Jersey and New York strains of the potato yellow dwarf virus. All viruses were transmitted from diseased crimson clover to healthy crimson clover. Latent period of both strains of potato yellow dwarf and clover club leaf viruses varied from 8 to 40 days. Black indicated that cases of rare transmission of yellow dwarf virus were real and not due to contamination. This was the first report of a single species transmitting three distinct viruses.Moreover, Black in 1958 and 1953 (88, 86) demonstrated the transmission of the clover club leaf and wound tumor viruses through the egg. He also in 1949 and 1950 (84, 85) proved, multiplication of the clover club leaf virus in the insect and plant when the vector remained infective with virus through 21 generations in 5 years. A minimum incubation period of the wound tumor virus in the vector was about 2 weeks (Maramorosch 1950, 472; Black, 89 1958). Mechanical transmission of clover club leaf virus was demonstrated by Maramorosch in 1955 (479).(Nielson 1968)This Species is considered the most important vector of clover club leaf virus and one of the important vectors of wound tumor virus in the United States. It is not an important vector of both strains of potato yellow dwarf virus.(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.


Agallinae Agalliopsis Cicadellidae Membracoidea North America Potato Wound tumour virus

Agalliopsis novella (Say): Wilson M. R. & Turner J. A. 2021. Insect Vectors of Plant Disease. Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Available online at [ Accessed:  18/05/2024 ].
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