Sharpnosed leafhopper, Scaphytopius magdalensis Provancher

Biology: Causes little direct injury but is the only known vector of the MLO causing blueberry stunt disease in highbush blueberries (Marucci 1966, Milholland & Meyer 1984). Infestations follow phenologically the population peaks of S. magdalensis (Tozzi et al. 1993). Common throughout East (Marucci 1966). In southeast 3 generations; north of Virginia 2 generations (Marucci 1966, Meyer 1986). Overwinter as eggs in leaf tissue. In North Carolina, hatch mid-March (about time blueberry buds begin to open). Nymphs ivory color, dark wingpads make hourglass pattern (See NCSU photos of young and mature nymphs). Adults mostly brown with white markings on body and wings (NCSU photo). Both adults and nymphs have a pointed head (anvil-shaped). Adults disperse out of woods in spring, back to woods in fall (important in MLO spread?). Milholland & Meyer 1984) list the three N. Carolina population peaks as late May, mid-June and early October. Highest populations in abandoned blueberry fields and wooded habitats where huckleberry (Gaylussacia spp.) and blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) are common in ground cover.

Chemical control: Petal fall spray hits first generation. In the North, this spray has been adequate, but in South, additional sprays needed to control damage by 2nd and 3rd generations, e.g. 2 weeks after harvest, 6 weeks after harvest, 3 months after harvest (first or second week of October) (Meyer 1986). Meyer (1986) stated that the petal fall spray is the most important for blueberry, controlling plum curculio, cranberry and cherry fruitworms, and the first generation of sharpnosed leafhoppers.

Monitoring: Use yellow sticky traps as for blueberry maggot ( NCSU photo). Place traps in low vegetation in woods, spraying when catches begin to increase each generation. Sweep netting gives variable results (Milholland & Meyer 1984).

Cultural control: Destroy infected bushes to avoid spread (Meyer 1986).

Host plant resistance: Most cultivars are susceptible, but some more so than others (Meyer 1986).

See the factsheet from NCSU

Additional reaeding:
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Maintained by: Douglas G. Pfeiffer
Department of Entomology
Virginia Tech