Leafhoppers or Jassids
Colour - Usually yellow or green. Gum tree leafhoppers (Eurymelidae family) are often brightly coloured with vivid red, white, blue black and yellows.
Body - Up to 28 mm. Often wedge shaped.
Wings - 2 Pairs, both used in flight. Held in a tent like position when at rest. Coupled. Adults can fly. Wing-span mm
Mouthparts - Stylet. Sucking. Near rear of head.
Antennae - 3-10 segments.
Eyes - 2 Compound and 2 simple.
Legs - Adapted for jumping. Feet (Tarsi) have 4 segments.
Head - Broad. Swollen. Wedge shaped
Thorax - 3 segments.
Abdomen - Eight pairs of spiracles on underside.
Egg - ovoid.
Habits - Can't fly when cold. Suck sap from plants. Jump or hop when disturbed and move to the far side of branches or leaves. Some species are tended by ants who feed on the honeydew produced by the Leafhopper. Often gregarious or in colonies.
Similar to adults. Usually 5 stages (instars). Often have no simple eyes (ocelli).
Eggs hatch to produce nymphs that look and behave similarly to the adult.
Habitats:Origin and History:
Loss of sap results in wilting, stunting die back and distortion. Sooty mould may grow on honey dew after heavy infestations. May transmit diseases such as rugose leaf curl virus and sugar cane viruses. Orosius argentatis spreads plant mycoplasma diseases. Nesoclutha spreads cereal viruses. Feed on xylem, phloem or occasionally on parenchyma depending on species. Apple Leafhopper (Typhlocyba froggatti) is a pest of apples. Jassids are leafhoppers that feed on eucalyptus and are a major pest of forests (e.g. Eurymela fenestrata). Saliva of some species is toxic to plant tissue.
Management and Control:Epidemics often controlled by hot or cold weather. Contact sprays and trunk injection of pesticides are often used.
Related Species:Aphids, Lerps, various 'bugs' leafhoppers and scales.
Similar Species:Aphids are sometimes confused with scales.
References:CSIRO. The Insects of Australia. Melbourne University Press. (1991) p81, 170, 430f30.1head, 432f30.4wing, 438-43, 468, 469-472, 473, 688-690 parasitism, 694, 950, 968, 971, 973.
Child, J.C. Australian Insects. Periwinkle Books. p48.
Goode, J. Insects of Australia. Angus and Robertson. p56.
Jones, D. & Elliot, R. Pests Diseases and Ailments of Australian Plants. Lothian Publishing Co. p62-64.
Acknowledgments:Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.