Common Name: Sharpshooter

Scientific Name: Order Homoptera, family Cicadellidae, many species

Size: Adult--up to 1/2"

Identification: Tubular leafhoppers that range in color from dark brown to green. Wings are almost parallel to the body when at rest. They "spit" honeydew and have the curious habit of playing hide and seek by scooting around to the other side of stems when you try to touch them. They will also spring off the plant like a bullet when disturbed.

Life Cycle: Female adults lay eggs into the soft tissue of stems. Nymphs hatch and disperse quickly to feed. Incomplete metamorphosis; one or more generations a year.

Habitat: From meadows and undeveloped land to cultivated gardens. They love crape myrtles.

Feeding Habits: Nymphs and adults suck juices from various plants with their piercing, sucking mouthparts.

Economic Importance: None.

Natural Control: Biodiversity. Birds, lizards, and beneficial microorganisms.

Organic Control: Rarely abundant enough to warrant control, but the citrus oil products will get 'em.

Insight: There are two theories on the origin of the name sharpshooter: their method of expelling honeydew with force and their habit of leaping out of danger with the speed of a bullet. Your choice.


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