Insect identification > Homoptera > Leafhoppers and Treehoppers > Apple leafhoppers

Apple leafhoppers

Apple leafhoppers. - Several species of leafhoppers attack the foliage of the apple, though two of them are primarily feeders on other plants. The potato leafhopper (Empoasca faboe Harr.) seriously injures the potato in many parts of this country. It is a pale-green insect about one-eighth inch long. These insects winter as adults under leaves, etc., and become active in the spring, feeding on various plants, and when the potatoes come up they pass to them and lay their eggs which hatch in 1 to 2 weeks.

The nymphs suck the sap from the leaves and become adults in 1 to 4 weeks according to the temperature. Some now pass to the later potatoes where a second generation is produced and, if time permits, a partial third generation. During all this time many may pass to and attack the apple, particularly nursery stock, causing a curling of the leaves and checking of growth, but the injury here is not usually important on older trees.

On the potato this insect produces "hopper burn," a browning, usually first at the leaf tip, then on its sides and spreading inward. The spots are closely related to the tips of the veins.

The apple leafhopper (Empoasca maligna Walsh) spends its entire life on the apple, wintering as the egg under loose bark or other protected places. During the summer the nymphs suck the sap from the leaves, causing these to show a whitening of their upper surface. This species, which has only one generation a year, occurs nearly everywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. Its work is most serious in the older orchards and its control is the same as that for the potato leafhopper on the apple.