Although the insect faunas of Australia and New Zealand are of remarkable interest, there are very few works which deal in a comprehensive fashion with particular groups. Neither are there, with few exceptions, and these relate especially to certain families of Coleoptera and Lepidoptera, reliably named collections available in Australia or New Zealand, which are in any way representative. This means that insect identification within Australia and New Zealand may present considerable difficulties unless insects are well known, or belong to groups being studied by an experienced and helpful specialist.
This work deals with two related groups of medium-sized Homoptera, which in most entomological text books are regarded as three groups and which are usually covered in a few short paragraphs. These insects present many problems of interest from the point of view of evolutionary development and geographical distribution; and, as well, include forms of some economic significance.
For a period of 35 years the writer has studied two of the comprised families (Cicadellidae and Eurymelidae) and has published many papers on various aspects of their biology, morphology and systematics. These papers are scattered in numerous journals and much of the information in them is now out of date.
The principle purpose of this work is to present under one cover such knowledge as the author has acquired of these groups of leafhoppers as they occur in Australia and New Zealand in the hope that it will aid identification of the majority, and perhaps, also, create sufficient interest to lead to their much-needed further study. In order to make it more comprehensive, the Membracidae and Cercopoidea are also included, and brief mention is made of the leafhopper faunas of New Guinea, New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island…