Clover Leafhopper – Aceratagallia sanguinolenta

Clover Leafhopper: Appearance, Territory, Damage, and Life Cycle

Latin Name: Aceratagallia Sanguinolenta

Appearance: A widespread leafhopper that mostly feeds on clovers and allied plants but is also a carrier of various viral infections of potatoes. Leafhoppers of various kinds can be found in home gardens around North America. Adults and nymphs both eat by puncturing the undersides of leaves and sucking plant fluids out. Their venomous saliva causes spotting (white spots), yellowing, leaf curling, stunting, and plant deformation. They are also in charge of spreading the organisms that cause viral infections in plants.

Adult leafhoppers are thin, wedge-shaped insects that fly or scatter quickly when disturbed. Depending on the species, they might be green, brown, or yellow in color and have bright markings. Nymphs lack wings and are often paler in color than adults. Adults and nymphs both sprint sideways and jump well.

Hosts Plants: Beans, maize, lettuce, beets, potatoes, grapes, roses, and many more plants are common hosts.

Territory: North America

Damage Insect Cause: For many years, the clover leafhopper, Aceratagallia Sanguinolenta, has been identified as a pest of clover. Since Black (1934) discovered that it is almost likely one, if not the sole, vector of the yellow dwarf virus of potato, it has been the topic of more research.

Potato leafhopper adults and nymphs can both harm plants. Leafhopper injury can take many weeks before symptoms appear, therefore older leaves often exhibit the “hopper burn” symptomology. Yield loss usually begins before symptoms become apparent. Symptoms should not be confused with illness or nutritional deficits, which cause yellowing of the foliage along the leaf edges.

The potato leafhopper’s destructive potential is highest during dry years. Field margins are typically the first to show indications of leafhopper injury and the most badly damaged area of a stand. Potato leafhoppers have also been discovered in soybean, snap bean, and potato farms. Leafhopper damage causes yellowing at the tips of the leaves in a V-shaped pattern. Heavy infestations can induce plant stunting and leaf cupping. Leafhoppers seen in soybean fields seldom cause serious harm in most cases. The potato leafhopper usually moves to soybean fields after an adjacent alfalfa crop is harvested.

Life History and Habits: Adults spend the winter in crop waste or non-cultivated areas near gardens. Females lay 1-6 eggs every day inside the stems and bigger veins of the leaves in late April. Hatching takes 6-9 days, and the juvenile nymphs molt 5 times before they reach adulthood. The molting nymphs’ white cast skins are frequently observed adhering to the underside of broken leaves. The transition from egg to adult takes roughly three weeks. During the growth season, many overlapping generations may be completed.