Fun Buffalo Treehopper Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 12, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Buffalo treehopper facts are incredibly exciting.

Living on twigs of trees, fruit plants, and green leaves, these bright vibrant treehoppers are great at camouflage. The buffalo treehopper is a native insect of North America. However, in recent years they have spread across different parts of the world including Europe, North Africa, and even parts of Asia.

Buffalo treehoppers look a lot like thorn hoppers, which is another species of treehoppers. As far as their physique is concerned, they have a bright green body color. However, some individuals can also be brown in color.

This insect does not only live on trees but also feeds on leaves and twigs of trees and fruit such as apple trees. The eggs are also laid on the leaves as the young treehoppers, also known as nymphs.

When the young treehoppers are born, they drop onto the vegetation where the eggs are hatch, before moving on to other trees in search of food and shelter.

Buffalo treehoppers have a very small life span of just a few months, and only a single generation takes birth in a year.

Do you like to learn about the life stories of such interesting insects around the globe? Then don't forget to read our articles about the flea and ground beetle.

Buffalo Treehopper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a buffalo treehopper?

Just as the name suggests, the buffalo treehopper (Stictocephala bisonia) is a species of treehopper. These treehoppers can walk, hop, and even fly.

What class of animal does a buffalo treehopper belong to?

The buffalo treehopper belongs to the class Insecta, just like the wheel bug, and the family Membracidae. Similar to other members of the family, buffalo treehoppers also have thorns that help them to camouflage themselves.

How many buffalo treehoppers are there in the world?

The exact number of these treehoppers in the world is not known.

Where does a buffalo treehopper live?

Although this species of treehopper is native to North America, in recent years it has spread to many other parts of the world, including North Africa and Asia. Their abundance has also been observed in parts of Europe.

What is a buffalo treehopper's habitat?

The habitat of these insects mostly consists of tropical forests. However, these insects have also been proven to be pests to vegetation. Not only do these insects feed upon plants but they also use the leaves for egg-laying. The adults, mainly the females, carve a sliver into the fresh leaves where the buffalo treehopper eggs are laid.

Who do buffalo treehoppers live with?

This species of treehoppers prefer a solitary lifestyle, over living in a large or small group of individuals comprising adult males and females. Adults are also great at camouflage.

How long does a buffalo treehopper live?

Similar to other adult treehoppers, buffalo treehoppers also have a lifespan of no more than a few months.

How do they reproduce?

The entire life cycle of this insect can be divided into three parts, which are eggs, nymphs, and adult. The females lay eggs in the sliver they created by cutting fresh leaves. The eggs are laid in pairs.

During the spring, the eggs hatch and the young treehoppers, also known as nymphs, drop onto the vegetation where the eggs hatch. In summer, the nymphs grow up to become adults. Every year, a single generation takes birth and finishes their life cycle.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the buffalo treehopper (Stictocephala bisonia) is Not Evaluated in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Buffalo Treehopper Fun Facts

What do buffalo treehoppers look like?

Sdult buffalo treehoppers range in color from green to brown. They have triangular-shaped heads, which make them look a lot similar to that of an American bison.

As it goes without saying, this gives the insect their name as well. They have a hood over their head covering half of their body. Along with this, they have rows of spines along the length of their body.

Buffalo Treehopper

How cute are they?

Unlike grasshoppers, it is difficult to say whether or not these plant eater pests can be called cute. These pests cause a lot of harm to garden plants. However, they do not cause any harm to humans as they don't even bite or sting.

How do they communicate?

The communication process of this insect is extremely interesting. Instead of using any vocal sounds or body postures, this insect vibrates plants to warn other adults of possible threats. This entire method is so almost otherworldly. Scientists call this method a secret society of sound.

How big is a buffalo treehopper?

The buffalo treehopper can grow 0.2-0.3 in (0.5-0.7 cm) long. Compared to the Brazilian treehopper which has an incredible length of almost 3.1 in (7.8 cm), this pest is almost 10 times smaller.

How fast can a buffalo treehopper move?

Although the exact speed of this pest is not known, it can be said that they have mastered all the arts including hopping, walking, and even flying.

How much does a buffalo treehopper weigh?

The average weight of this pest is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female counterparts of this insect, thus both are known as buffalo treehopper.

What would you call a baby buffalo treehopper?

Baby or young treehoppers are called nymphs. Right after the breeding season, the eggs hatch in the spring season and the nymphs take birth.

What do they eat?

This pest mostly feeds upon fruit trees. As the nymphs develop, they move from elm and apple trees to sweet clover. Apart from that, they feed upon leaves, twigs, a potato plant, a rose plant, and a tomato plant. They even use this plant for egg-laying. Females puncture holes into the leaves using their mouthparts to lay eggs.

Are they poisonous?

Although this pest can cause a lot of harm to vegetation, mainly to fruit plants, such as apple trees, they are not poisonous. They do not directly cause any harm to humans as they don't even sting or bite.

One can even easily get away using buffalo treehopper oil which is basically pest control medicine. Spraying water on trees also helps to a great extent.

Would they make a good pet?

Although they do not require any sort of extra care, having these insects as pets might not be the best of ideas, unlike the Hercules beetle. In fact, they can cause a lot of harm to gardens if you like to have one at home.

Did you know...

Although the life span of the adults is only a few months, you will be amazed to know that this species of treehoppers has been around for 40 million years now.

What is special about a buffalo treehopper?

The physical feature that distinguishes these true bugs from all other true bugs is the enlarged prothorax. It almost looks like a hood and covers half of their body.

Are treehoppers harmful to humans?

This well-camouflaged insect is not at all harmful to humans. However, they are extremely harmful to trees.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Christmas beetle facts and green tiger beetle facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable buffalo treehopper coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

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Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi Raturi picture

Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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