NC State Extension Publications

Description and Biology

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The redbanded leafhopper, Graphocephala coccinea, is also called the candy-striped leafhopper because of its bright red and blue markings on the wings and thorax. Its head, legs and under parts are bright yellow. These leafhoppers are usually 3/8 inch long. They frequent woodlands and meadows. Leafhoppers suck out sap from leaves and stems. They expel excess sugars and liquids forcefully as tiny droplets. Leafhopper adults typically emerge in spring and after feeding and mating, lay eggs in leaf veins, shoots and stems.Eggs hatch about 10 days later. Nymphs are wingless and gradually grow wing pads as they molt and grow. Adults appear about a month later (sometimes more quickly in hot weather). We probably have more than one generation per year in North Carolina.

Red-banded leafhopper

Red-banded leafhoppers feed on may ornamental plants.

Red-banded leafhoppers

Red-banded leafhoppers feed on leaves and tender stems.

Host Plants

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Redbanded leafhoppers feed on fruit bushes and ornamental plants including crapemyrtle, rhododendron, roses, and Scotch broom. As this leafhopper uses its mouthpart to pierce and suck plant sap, it also injects its saliva. It can transmit Pierce’s Disease or leaf scorch to oak, elm, sycamore, and other trees.

Residential Recommendations

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Control of redbanded leafhoppers is complicated in that they fly (and hop) readily so that ornamental plants may be re-infested shortly the application of an insecticide of short residual activity such as insecticidal soaps, neem extracts, horticultural oils, and even Sevin. That being written, because of its huge feral population, this leafhopper will probably never develop resistance to insecticides so that any insecticide labeled for home landscape use should give more than adequate control.


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This Factsheet has not been peer reviewed.


Professor Emeritus
Entomology and Plant Pathology

Publication date: Sept. 22, 2017
Revised: Oct. 26, 2019

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