Red-Eyed Green Leafhopper

2015 July 1

There were a couple of these green leafhoppers with bright red eyes that came to our porch light on September 19, 2014.

The jumping legs are pretty long relative to the size of the insect, and they can jump quite a long way.

And yet, they can tuck the legs pretty well under their bodies so that they can’t even be seen most of the time.

The most distinctive feature is those red, red eyes.

Mainly based on the eyes, I think it is one of the leafhoppers in the genus Gyponana. These are the first leafhoppers I’ve seen that were drawn to a light at night, and other people have picked them up with lights as well.

The main significance of leafhoppers is that, since they are highly mobile, they readily spread viruses from plant to plant. The fact that they feed by sucking plant juices also makes them good disease vectors, because they can inject the viruses right into the plant (as opposed to a chewing insect like a caterpillar, which would just bite off pieces of leaf, leaving the plant’s precious bodily fluids uncontaminated)

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