Grape leafhopper, Erythroneura spp.

Several related species comprise this group, but there are few differences in their life histories. Unmated adults overwinter in plant debris in and near the vineyard. Adults are about 3 mm long, pale yellow with red, yellow, or black markings. In the first warm days of spring the adults become active, feeding on any green foliage before grape leaves appear. In May, leafhoppers go to vines and feed but little damage is done at this time. After feeding for 2-3 weeks, females oviposit just below the surface of leaf tissue. Eggs hatch in about two weeks, depending upon temperature. Females lay an average of 100 eggs each. Nymphs are pale and wingless, with red eyes. They usually remain on the undersides of leaves and are quite active, often running sideways. There is a 3-5 week development period, and 2-3 generations per season.

Both nymphs and adults suck sap from leaves, resulting in pale stippling. With heavy infestations, leaves become yellow or brown, and drop. Numbers are highest late in the summer, especially on end vines and border rows. Quality (sugar content) and quantity of fruit may be greatly reduced. However, high populations are required to reduce fruit quality. Researchers in New York have created a conservative provisional action threshold of five nymphs per leaf before August 1, and ten nymphs per leaf thereafter.

This is taken primarily from an extension bulletin by D. G. Pfeiffer & P. B. Schultz, entitled "Major Insect and Mite Pests of Grape in Virginia" (Va. Coop. Ext. Serv. 444-567 (1986))

See the linked fact sheets on grape leafhopper from California and Colorado State.

See monograph on leafhoppers on grape.

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