Gray Lawn Leafhopper – Exitianus exitiosus

Gray Lawn Leafhopper: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life

Latin name: Exitianus exitiosus

Appearances: Brown to dirty yellow body. On the front and back of the scutellum, as well as the top of the pronotum, there are two black marks. Typically, wings extend just past the belly and are transparent to white with brown veins. Leafhoppers measure only 2–15 mm, or 1/16–5/8 of an inch.

Host plants: Raised in a lab on green foxtail grass, wheat, and barley, among other grass types. On hard red spring wheat, male development (from egg to adult) took 55 days, but female development took 60 days.

Territory: Typically found in turfgrasses and lawns

Damage insect caused: Although they thrive on a variety of grasses, grey lawn leafhoppers favor Bermuda grass. They spread the illnesses maize bushy stunt phytoplasma and corn stunt spiroplasma (CSS) (MBSP). These illnesses are more prevalent in south Florida, where there have been localized outbreaks that have resulted in financial losses.

Life cycle and habits: A typical “tramp” species, it reproduces on any grass that is present before flying off to discover whatever is nearby, always picking the most succulent growth. ADULT: The body and wings are a mostly grey color with no distinctive markings. The head’s crown is smooth. In order to prepare for jumping, the rear tibia is held under the femora. At 70 degrees F, females live an average of 32 days and have a 4-day pre-oviposition period. These leafhoppers frequently congregate in groups. In clusters of three to six, eggs are laid right beneath the leaf epidermis. At 70 degrees F, nymphs appear in 12 to 13.5 days. At 70 degrees F, nymphs go through their five instars in 43 to 47 days. Nymph clusters develop from egg clusters. In cicadellids, there is no pupal stage. 55 to 60 days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.