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Oak Treehopper

If you have an oak tree in your yard, you might see these treehoppers (Platycotis vittata) on your tree. They are common Florida insects that sometimes cause concern to homeowners, when in fact they cause very little damage to oak trees. These treehoppers may be commonly seen lining oak branches from March-April.

Adult oak treehopper. Photo: Larry R. Barber, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood #0488089

The adult insects sometimes bear a horn on the pronotum, though this is not always the case. They display a wide variety of colors and patterns, and so visual identification may be difficult, but there are few other insects that look like them. The horned adults are sometimes confused with thorn bugs (Umbonia crassicornis)which do cause significant damage in large populations.

Female thorn bug. Photo: Lyle J.Buss, University of Florida, Bugwood #5446770

Check out the Featured Creatures article on oak treehoppers if you are interested in learning more!