Daily Archives: April 28, 2010

G is for glassy winged sharpshooter

Yellow eyes, red veins, piercing, sucking mouthparts: what's not to love?

The glassy winged sharpshooter is a leafhopper from the insect family Cicadellidae.  Originally from northeastern Mexico, these little buggers have migrated to the U.S. where they spread Pierce’s Disease, a bacterial infection that kills grapevines.

Voracious eaters, they spread bacteria from plant to plant by inserting their needle-like mouth parts into the xylem of the plant.  As they’re eating away, they deposit waste, often dubbed “leafhopper rain”, which can give the leaves and fruit a whitewashed appearance. 

Fantastic name for a fantastic pest.

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