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Identifying Leafhoppers

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  • Variegated leafhopper
  • Grape leafhopper
  • Leafhopper damage

Use the photos below to distinguish between grape leafhopper and variegated leafhoppers, and to identify leafhopper damage. Parasitism may result in economic control of grape leafhopper but is less likely if the variegated leafhopper is the key species. Names link to more information on identification and management.

Also look for evidence of egg parasitization by viewing photos of leafhopper predators and natural enemies.

Click on photos to enlarge
Variegated leafhopper Grape leafhopper

Variegated leafhopper first instar
Variegated leafhopper (first-instar nymph)
Identification tip: Nymphs are almost transparent when they first emerge, except for a very slight yellowish coloration.

No photo available.

The first-instar grape leafhopper is almost colorless, except for prominent red eyes.

Third instar leafhopper nymph
Variegated leafhopper (third-instar nymph)
Identification tip: When a nymph matures it becomes orange brown to yellow brown, in contrast to the nymph of the grape leafhopper which remains whitish.

The white nymph of a grape leafhopper, Erythroneura elegantula.
Grape leafhopper (fifth-instar nymph)
Identification tip: Nymphs of the grape leafhopper are white with pale-yellow markings.

Variegated leafhopper adult
Variegated leafhopper (adult)
Identification tip: The adult is darker than the grape leafhopper adult and mottled brown, green, and white with a reddish tinge. It has white patches on the lower middle margin.

Grape leafhopper adult
Grape leafhopper (adult)
Identification tip: The adult grape leafhopper is light to pale yellow with more well-defined markings than the variegated leafhopper adult.
Leafhopper damage

Leafhopper damage
Leafhoppers cause stippling or light-green spotting from feeding on leaf surface.

Leafhopper damage
Heavier leafhopper feeding damage causes more intense stippling. Black sooty mold is growing on the leafhopper excrement (honeydew) on this leaf.

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