Graphocephala versuta (Say 1830b: 311)

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

Medium size, slender species. male 5.00—5.50 mm., female 5.50—5.70 mm. (Nielson, 1968)General colour yellowish red to reddish brown. Crown yellowish red with linear fuscous markings; pronotum light yellowish red along anterior margin, reddish brown posteriorly; elytra reddish brown with long bluish band along claval suture.(Nielson, 1968)Pygofer in lateral aspect slightly longer than wide, caudal margin convex about middle; aedeagus in lateral aspect short, shaft grooved along middle in ventral aspect with two apical processes extending laterally on each side of shaft; paraphyses asymmetrical with pair of terminal, long, bladelike processes; style in dorsal aspect simple, apex truncate; female seventh sternum in ventral aspect with caudal margin triangularly convex. (Nielson, 1968)This species, related to cythura, can be separated by the aedeagus with the shaft narrowed apically in lateral aspect.(Nielson 1968)

Biology & Ecology

The biology of this species has been thoroughly studied by Turner and Pollard in 1959 (1959). Thirty species of plants in 15 families were listed as food plants, including both woody and herbaceous types. Adults overwintered in wooded areas, and in March they moved out to feed on perennial plants, such as wild plum, privet, and blackberry. In the summer and fall, adults fed on herbaceous annuals with no particular preference for host species. Eggs were laid singly in the upper epidermis of leaves of ragweed, sunflower, okra, and other plants. Four generations were reared on cowpeas in 1 year in the insectary. In life-cycle studies the preoviposition period varied between 6 and 20 days. The egg stage lasted about 16 days in the Spring and varied from 8 to 11 days in the early fall. The average length of the nymphal stage in the first generation was 36 days, second generation 36. days, third generation 42 days, and fourth 41 days. Average adult longevity varied from 36 to 42 days among generations. (Nielson, 1968)


(Say 1830b: 311)


Diedrocephala versuta (Say, 1830)
Diedrocephala versuta versuta (Say, 1830)
Draeculacephala versata Say, 1830
Tettigonia versuta Say, 1830
Tettigonia versuta Say, 1830

Additional Images

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

Worldwide Distribution

It is common in the Southern United States. Turner and Pollard (1959) reported it as far north as Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, and west to Texas. (Nielson,1968)

North America

Distribution point data provided by GBIF.

Vector Status

Economic Crops


This species is a vector of phony peach disease virus in the Southeastern United States. In 1949, Turner (792) was first to report versuta as a vector of this virus, and ten years later in 1959 Turner and Pollard (795) confirmed the transmission. Percent efficiency of this vector was 22.2 in all tests conducted between 1947 and 1955. The minimum acquisition feeding period was 1 day and the latent period less than 17 days.(Nielson 1968)The species is not considered a primary vector of this virus since it only fed occasionally on peach and had no direct ecological association with this host.(Nielson 1968)

Plant Diseases


EFSA, 2019.

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

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 Cicadellini Grape Graphocephala Membracoidea North America Peach Phony peach disease Pierce's disease Xylella fastidiosa

Graphocephala versuta (Say 1830b: 311): Wilson M. R. & Turner J. A. 2021. Insect Vectors of Plant Disease. Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Available online at [ Accessed:  07/12/2022 ].
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