Garden Fleahopper – Halticus bractatus

Garden Fleahopper: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life

Latin name: Halticus bractatus

Appearances: Adult Garden flea hoppers come in three different shapes: oval-bodied short-winged females, slender long-winged males, and slender long-winged females. All varieties are dark in color and have lengthy antennae and legs. They have a length of less than 1/8 inch. They can fly, although they mostly move by jumping. Nymphs, or young bugs, range in color from light yellow to dark green. A unique black mark can be seen on each side of the first segment behind the head in almost adult nymphs. Being energetic, they are insects that easily jump when startled.

Host plants: Garden flea hoppers consume a variety of forage, decorative, and garden plants in addition to numerous weeds and grasses. Beans, beets, cabbage, celery, com, cowpeas, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes are among the vegetable harvests that could be harmed. It is possible to harm ornamental plants, particularly annual and perennial flowering plants like chrysanthemum, daisy, marigold, and salvia.

Territory: As far west as the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the eastern United States, Halticus bractatus is common. South and Central America, both contain it. Hawaii is also home to it.

Damage insect caused: Adults and nymphs frequently hang around on plant stems and leaf surfaces, draining the sap from individual cells to kill them. A pale or yellowish speckling appears on the leaf as a result. The growth of plants may be stunted and seedlings may die from excessive feeding. Vegetables lose some of their appeal and marketability when nymphs and adults deposit black spots of fecal waste on the plant (often on the underside of the leaf).

Life cycle and habits: In August and September, it appears that eggs are predominantly overwintered as plant tissue. Late-maturing adults are said to hibernate, nevertheless, and some of these creatures may make it through the winter and reproduce in the spring. In the spring, nymphs erupt and consume the undersides of the leaves. Depending on the climate, they reach maturity between 11 to 35 days. Adults have a lifespan of one to three months. The average female lays 100 eggs. The mouthparts make holes, usually in leaves or leaf petioles, into which the eggs are released. Eggs hatch 12 to 20 days later, and the life cycle is then repeated. In Oklahoma, there are probably five generations each year.