Crop damage caused by the potato leafhopper

Four species of leafhopper commonly attack potato, but they seldom cause economic damage.

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Potato leafhopper identification and crop damage

Scientific name: Edwardsiana flavescens, Empoasca decipiens, Eupterycyba jucunda and Eupteryx aurata

Leafhoppers are around 5 mm long, with elongated yellow or green bodies and they tend to fly or jump away when disturbed.

The potato leafhoppers are common inhabitants of hedgerows, moving into the crop in early summer to feed on the underside of leaves.

They lay pale, slender eggs on stems and leaf veins. Several generations can be completed within a year.

Feeding causes pale speckling of the leaves, while injection of their saliva into the phloem causes ‘hopperburn’, a yellowing/browning of the foliage.

Severe cases can result in brown, wilting and dying leaves.

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