Hauptidia maroccana Melichar Glasshouse leafhopper

This polyphagous leafhopper is well established in glasshouses in northern Europe. It feeds on the underside of the leaves of cucumber, melon, tomato and various ornamentals, especially chrysanthemum and primrose; if conditions are favourable, infestations may also occur on outdoor plants, including various weeds. The insects cause a pale speckling or mottling of infested leaves (Plate le). Attacked plants may be weakened, and seedlings can be killed, but infestations are rarely of significance.

Fig. 184 Forewing of chrysanthemum leafhopper, Eupteryx melissae (x25).

Fig. 184 Forewing of chrysanthemum leafhopper, Eupteryx melissae (x25).

BIOLOGY

This species breeds continuously, there being five or more overlapping generations annually. Eggs are inserted singly into the leaf veins and, at normal glasshouse temperatures, each hatches in about a week. The active nymphs then feed for about a month before becoming adults, each passing through five instars. Under colder conditions, however, development from egg to adult is greatly protracted and, in winter, may take several months. Adults are relatively long-lived and many survive for up to 3 months, each female depositing about 50 eggs.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 3.1-3.7mm long, mainly pale yellow, marked with grey or brown; elytra each with a pair of brownish-grey bands (Fig. 185) which, in repose, form two chevron-like markings over the back.

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