White apple leafhopper


White apple leafhopper

Typhlocyba pomaria McAtee

Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae

Distribution: Widespread in most fruit-growing states and provinces in eastern North America.

Adults are creamy white with short antennae, translucent wings, and a long wedge-shaped body (A). Usually found on the underside of leaves, they jump and fly with great agility. Nymphs (B) are yellowish, wingless and very mobile; they generally move in a back-and-forth motion.

Monitoring: Estimate number per leaf. More first generation will be on spur leaves. Most summer generation will be on mid-shoot leaves. Thresholds: Will vary widely.

Threshholds for trees with sparse canopy and heavy crop load is less than for trees with luxurious canopies. Generally, 1-3 per leaf will bleach around the midrib only, 8 per leaf will stipple the entire leaf and create problems for workers at harvest.

  • Crops Affected: apples


    Attacks apple mainly. Feeding causes white mottling of leaves, particularly on the interior of the canopy (C); shiny black excrement on leaves and fruit (D) occurs when adult populations are abundant. Can be a nuisance to pickers at harvest by flying in nose, mouth, and eyes.


    Monitor the population on leaves (fruit cluster leaves for the 1st generation); when necessary, apply a selective insecticide against immature stages.

    Similar Species

    Potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae), greenish in color, moves in a lateral fashion and appears later in the season. It is occasionally present on water sprouts, but damage appears as yellowing or chlorosis, followed by cupping of young terminal leaves. In contrast to T. pomaria, its movement on a leaf surface is generally from side to side. Rose leafhopper [Edwardsiana rosae (L.)] is closely related and very similar in appearance, but dark spots at the bases of setae (hairs) can be seen on the thorax of E. rosae nymphs, whereas T. pomaria lacks spots. Other diagnostic characteristics often used include the genitalia and ovipositor, which are difficult to apply in the field. E. rosae has 3 generations per year in the mid-Atlantic states and south.

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