Pest and Beneficials Search (search again)

Potato leafhopper

Empoasca fabae (Harris)
Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae

Adults are yellowish green with short antennae, translucent wings, prominent leg spines and a long wedge-shaped body (A). Usually found actively moving on the leaf surface, they quickly run to the leaf underside when disturbed. Nymphs (A) are wingless and very mobile, generally moving in a lateral fashion. They overwinter in the Gulf Coast states; adults are carried into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states on weather fronts each year.


Widespread in most fruit-growing states and provinces in eastern North America.


Attacks apple as well as many agronomic crops. Adults and nymphs inject a toxic saliva while feeding, which damages the leaf tissue and causes a characteristic yellowing or chlorosis called hopperburn, followed by cupping of young terminal leaves (B).

Similar Species

White apple leafhopper (Typhlocyba pomaria), moves in a back-and-forth motion and appears earlier in the season. Rose leafhopper [Edwardsiana rosae (L.) (C)] is closely related and very similar in appearance but the nymph has dark spots at the bases of its setae (hairs). Other diagnostic characteristics often include the genitalia and ovipositor, but they are difficult to apply in the field.


Monitor the population by examining leaf undersides, especially on younger trees. When necessary, apply a selective insecticide against immature stages.

Pest and Beneficials Search (search again)

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.