Authors: Dr. Randy Hudson, Dr. David Adams, University of Georgia
Order Homoptera: Family Cicadellidae
Leafhoppers are a group of small insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts. Most leafhoppers are green-brown in color and average approximately 3-4 mm in length. Leafhoppers derive their name from their hopping behavior. Nymphs are generally lighter green in color. Adults appear somewhat similar to immatures but lack wings. The leafhopper most commonly associated with "hopper burn" in peanuts is the potato leafhopper.
Peanuts, potatoes, vegetables, soybeans, and pastures and other forages.
Both adult and nymphs puncture the underside of leaves and suck out plant juices. Feeding injury causes stunting and leaf curl. During the process of feeding, the hoppers inject a toxin that causes "hopper burn" This malady is characterized by a yellowing of the tissue at the tip and margin of leaves. Damage can cause the leaf to eventually scorch and drop from the plant.
Leafhoppers typically overwinter as adults. Adults emerge in the spring, mate and lay eggs inside the veins on the underside of infested plants. The female leafhopper lives about 30 days and after maturity lays 1-6 eggs daily. Eggs hatch in 8-10 days, and immatures develop to adults in 10-14 days. It is believed there are 3-5 generations per year in south Georgia.
Treatment for leafhoppers should be initiated when injury symptoms are numerous and leafhoppers are present in the field.