Common name: Leafhopper
Important Leafhopper Species
- Beet leafhopper (Circulifer tenellus)
- Corn leafhopper (Dalbulus maidis)
- Cotton leafhopper (Amrasca terraereginae)
- Mango leafhopper (Idioscopus nitidulus, I. niveosparsus, I. clypealis)
- Potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae)
- Rice green leafhopper (Nephotettix cincticeps, N. Malayanus, N. nigropictus, N. virescens)
- Vegetable leafhopper, tomato leafhopper (Austroasca viridigrisea)
Leafy and fruit vegetables, legumes, grains and cereals, root crops, fruit trees, and other agricultural crops
Both the nymphs and the adult leafhoppers feed on the plant sap. They then suck out the liquid content leaving behind the dead and empty cells which are small, white spots. Heavy feeding results in 'hopperburn' which is caused by the toxic effects of the insects' saliva.
Beet leafhoppers transmit the curly top virus on beans, tomatoes, cucurbits, sugar beet, and several other plants.
Corn leafhoppers transmit a pathogen that causes corn stunt.
Cotton leafhoppers damage cotton seedlings and new growth, but they usually attack mature leaves during the flowering stage causing stippling effect on leaves.
Mango leafhoppers feed on flowers and growing tips and transmit the black sooty mold disease on leaves and fruits, affecting the marketability of the
Potato leafhoppers feed on the edges of the leaves causing brown, triangular lesions on alfalfa, beans, peanuts, strawberries, and potatoes. As these develop, the lesions spread, eventually destroying the whole leaves.
Vegetable leafhoppers have the same feeding habits as those of cotton and potato leafhoppers.
The eggs are laid inside the soft plant tissue on the underside of the leaves. They are elongate or curved, whitish to greenish, and about 0.9 mm long. Eggs hatch in about 10 days.
The nymphs look similar to adults but are very small, pale yellow green, and wingless. They undergo five nymphal instars. Their cast skins usually remain on the lower surface of the leaf. Nymphs have the ability to walk sideways, forward or backward at rapid paces.
Adults are small, elongate, wedge-shaped insects, about 3-4 mm long. They hop fast, fly quickly, and can run in all directions when disturbed, hence the
name leafhopper. Many leafhoppers look alike and their colors vary; from green, gray, tan, brown, and banded, which often leads to misidentification of the different species.