Picture of Leafhopper

Picture of a Sharpshooter
Large leafhopper known as a Sharpshooter

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Leafhopper adults are elongated, wedge-shaped and somewhat triangular in cross-section. They jump and fly readily. Depending upon the species, they range in size from 1/8 to 2 inches and their body color varies. Nymphs resemble adults but are wingless. They can run rapidly, move sideways, and hop.

Various species feed on the fluids of a wide variety of plants occasionally causing injury and transmitting plant diseases. Most species will feed only on 1 or several closely related plants. A few species will secrete honeydew.

Life cycle:
Most species overwinter as eggs or adults. Eggs are inserted into leaf veins, shoots or stems of host plants. Wingless nymphs hatch from eggs in about 10 days and begin feeding on the tender new growth of the host plant. They develop through 5 instars over a period of 12 to 30 days, leaving shed skins in the feeding area. As nymphs grow larger, they develop wing pads. Most leafhoppers produce 1 or more generations per year.