This often abundant leafhopper is associated with wild and cultivated grasses and also infests cereal crops. Although direct feeding by adults and nymphs is usually of little or no significance, the insects are capable of transmitting virus-like (mycoplasmic) diseases, including wheat striate mosaic; this disease can cause stunting of cereals, including barley, oats, rye and wheat.
Adults occur in the summer. Eggs are then deposited in the leaf sheaths and hollow stems of cereals and grasses. The eggs hatch in the au-
Fig. 185 Forewing of glasshouse leafhopper. Hauptidia maroccana (x25).
tumn and the nymphs feed briefly before overwintering. Activity is resumed in the spring, and nymphal development is completed in the early summer. In Britain, this species is single-brooded. Female leafhoppers carrying cereal or grass mycoplasmic diseases are capable of transferring the causal organisms to their offspring via the eggs.
Adult female (macropterous form) 4.0-4.5 mm long, pale brownish-yellow with black markings; elytra yellowish, semi-transparent; hind tibia with a large, moveable apical spur (typical of family) (Fig. 186). Adult male (macropterous form) mainly black, marked with white and yellow; elytra hyaline-whitish. Brachypterous forms in both sexes vary from pale yellowish to black and are 3 mm long.
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