The higher classification of many groups of insects is in a state of constant discussion and different interpretation exist for many groups. The subfamily Cicadellinae is no exception. Oman et al. (1990a) included the tribes Anoterostemmini Haupt, Cicadellini Van Duzee, Errhomenini Fieber, Evacanthini Metcalf, Mileewini Evans, Pagaroniini Anufriev, and Proconiini Stål.
Following Young (1968a) we exclude all tribes except Cicadellini and Proconiini from the subfamily. A morphological cladistic analysis by Dietrich (2004a) consistently recovered Cicadellinae sensu Young (1968a) but not that of Oman et al. (1990a). The terminology of external morphology, and a comparison of the two tribes, was provided by Mejdalani (1998a). Terminology specifically for leg chaetotaxy, and its functional morphology for a wide variety of cicadellids was given by Rakitov (1998a).
In the catalogues by Metcalf (e.g., 1965a), many taxa now commonly treated as subfamilies were treated as separate families. Two of these were Cicadellidae and Tettigellidae. As a result of Opinion 647 of the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (1963a), Cicadella Latreille (1817a) was validated under the plenary powers and its family-group name placed on the Official List of Family-Group Names in Zoology, whereas Cicadella Dumeril (1806a) was suppressed. Consequently, Metcalf’s ‘Cicadellidae’ is today’s Typhlocybinae and his ‘Tettigellidae’ is now Cicadellinae, although the tribes Makilingini and Mileewini of the latter subfamily have since been elevated to subfamilies (Young 1968a, Nast 1972a).