Leafhopper, a leaping insect that sucks plant juices. There are more than 2,500 species in North America and more than 15,000 worldwide. Leafhoppers are from 1/16 to 5/8 of an inch (2 to 15 mm) in length. The female has an organ called an ovipositor that she uses to insert eggs in stems or leaves. Two or more broods are typically produced yearly. Leafhoppers secrete a sweet substance called honeydew, which is eaten by ants, wasps, and other insects attracted to sweets.

LeafhoppersLeafhoppers are leaping insects that suck plant juices.

Leafhoppers sometimes stunt plants, cause plants to wilt, or transmit diseases to them. Leafhoppers can be controlled with insecticides or by dusting plants with diatomite (diatomaceous earth).

How Do Leafhoppers Get Around?

Leafhoppers travel in several ways. As their name suggests, leafhoppers can hop from leaf to leaf when on plants. They also fly. And some leafhoppers also get around by running sideways.

Most leafhoppers are only 1/20 to 1/4 inch (1.3 to 6.4 millimeters) long. Some leafhoppers are brightly colored. Others are dull green or brown.

Leafhoppers live in grassy meadows and gardens throughout the world. They suck on the juices of plants. As a result, the plants often wilt. Many leafhoppers also carry disease.

Leafhoppers make up the family Cicadellidae. Common North American species include the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae; the beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus; and the scarlet-and-green leafhopper, Graphocephala coccinea.