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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1 Comment

Filed under Alphabet Soup, Wine

One response to “G is for glassy winged sharpshooter

  1. Thomas Mckenzie

    Pierce’s disease is the reason why vinifera grapes cannot be grown in the deep south. I just never knew how it spread. Good job thirsty.

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