Variegated Leafhopper – Erythroneura variabilis

Variegated Leafhopper  Erythroneuravariabilis

Common Name: Variegated Leafhopper

Latin Name: Erythroneuravariabilis


The variegated leafhopper is similar in size to the grape leafhopper but is deeper in color and mottled brown, green, and white with a reddish tint. When the nymphs initially emerge, they are virtually translucent before becoming orange-brown to yellow-brown. Eggs are placed singly on the upper and lower leaf surfaces’ epidermal tissue. Eggs of 0.03 inch (0.8 mm) length are placed next to or inside leaf veins and deeply embedded within leaf tissue. This later feature reduces the efficacy of egg parasites against the variegated leafhopper.


The variegated leafhopper is present in Napa County, but the grape leafhopper is more frequent. Virginia creeper leafhopper has been found in vineyards in the northern Sacramento Valley, northern Sierra foothill areas, and Lake and Mendocino counties. Leafhoppers overwinter as adults and can be seen on basal grape leaves and weeds in the spring.

Damages caused by Variegated Leafhopper:

Feeding nymphs and adults cause harm by puncturing individual leaf cells with their needle-like mouthparts and sucking out the contents. Damaged leaf cells appear as small white dots. With continued leafhopper eating, numerous damaged cells accumulate, turning the leaf white and brown. The injured leaf’s photosynthetic capability is decreased and will ultimately senesce and fall off. The level of grape feeding damage varies according to leafhopper population density, vineyard quality, and the injured leaves’ placement (sheltered or exposed to sunlight).