Cercopidae Leach, 1815

Suborder: Cicadomorpha

Identification: all European species are easily recognized by the remarkable black and red coloration (red color is rarely absent).

Ecology: adults on grasses, herbs or trees. Larvae live in spittle masses in the soil or litter layer, where they suck on xylem in roots.


1a Outer margin of forewings red -> Haematoloma dorsata

1b Outer margin of forewings black -> 2

2a Wings with only a posterior red band on its forewings (rarely reduced to one or two red spots) -> Triecphorella geniculata

2b Wings with a broad or smaller red band on its forewings (rarely absent) and two red spots on each wing (Cercopis) -> 3

3a Posterior red band on forewings broad, strongly curved -> Cercopis vulnerata

3b Posterior red band on forewings narrower, slightly curved -> 4

4a Knee red -> Cercopis intermedia

4b Legs completely black -> 5

5a Ventral plates of connexivum completely red, body in dorsal view broad ovoid -> Cercopis arcuata*

5b Ventral plates of connexivum usually with a black spot on each plate (rarely absent), body in dorsal view elongate ovoid -> Cercopis sanguinolenta

*The doutbfull species Cercopis sabaudiana is not included in the key, see for the differences with C. arcuata its description on the species-page.