Microcentrus perditus

Lost Stegaspidine Treehopper

Microcentrus perditus, Membracidae, West Virginia


Family: Membraciade

Subfamily: Stegaspidinae

Family: Microcentrini

Length 7.0 - 9.0 mm


Loye (1987) noted that species in Microcentrus have been neglected in favor of studies of more brightly colored treehoppers that live in groups tended by ants, and taxa that show parental guarding of the young.

Membracidae, Microcentrus perditus treehopper photo, West Virginia


Loye believed Microcentrus species have evolved a successful defensive strategy that does not involve tending by ants. Their coloration is cryptic, while their shape mimics a bud. They have a habit of sitting with their abdomen against a twig, thus making difficult any attack by parasitic species on their undersides. The autumn breeding season may also reduce attack by predators and parasites, which are more numerous in the summer.

The specific epithet derives from the Latin word for lost.

A related treehopper pictured on this site is a Stylocentrus sp.