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How to distinguish glassy-winged sharpshooter from its “look-a-likes”

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Authors

Lucia G. Varela , North Coast IPM Advisor

Publication Information

California Agriculture 55(4):12-12.

Published July 01, 2001

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An intense search is under way in many areas to prevent the introduction of glassy-winged sharpshooter, a nonnative invasive insect linked to the spread of Xyllela fastidiosa, the bacterium that causes Pierce's disease. Since many people have not seen the glassy-winged sharpshooter, it can be confused with other insects occurring in vineyards and backyards (“look-a-likes“). The following photos and descriptions are useful tools in correctly identifying this pest.

Adult glassy-winged sharpshooter

Adult glassy-winged sharpshooter

  • Approximately 1/2 inch (11 to 13 mm) long.

  • Dark brown to black in color with an ivory underside.

  • Top of the head has small, ivory-to-yellowish spots.

  • Body shape is parallel-sided with a pointed head.

  • Wings are partly transparent with reddish veins.

  • Wings are folded flat over the body.

  • Length of hind tibia has two rows of small spines (fig. 1).

  • While resting, they shift their bodies from side to side (inspiring the name “sharpshooters”).

Nymphal stages

Nymphal stage glassy-winged sharpshooter

  • Glassy-winged sharpshooter has five nymphal (immature) stages.

  • Nymphal length ranges from 1/16 inch (2 mm) long for the first stage up to 3/8 inch (9 mm) for fifth stage.

  • Nymphs are olive-gray with prominent reddish eyes.

  • Immatures are wingless and have softer bodies.

  • Immatures have piercing/sucking mouthparts and a bulging face.

Glassy-winged sharpshooter mouthparts

  • Muscles that operate the feeding pump give the face a swollen appearance

  • Piercing/sucking mouthparts

Fig. 1. Hind leg

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How to distinguish glassy-winged sharpshooter from its “look-a-likes”

Lucia G. Varela
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu

How to distinguish glassy-winged sharpshooter from its “look-a-likes”

Share using any of the popular social networks Share by sending an email Print article
Share using any of the popular social networks Share by sending an email Print article

Authors

Lucia G. Varela , North Coast IPM Advisor

Publication Information

California Agriculture 55(4):12-12.

Published July 01, 2001

PDF  |  Citation  |  Permissions

Full text

An intense search is under way in many areas to prevent the introduction of glassy-winged sharpshooter, a nonnative invasive insect linked to the spread of Xyllela fastidiosa, the bacterium that causes Pierce's disease. Since many people have not seen the glassy-winged sharpshooter, it can be confused with other insects occurring in vineyards and backyards (“look-a-likes“). The following photos and descriptions are useful tools in correctly identifying this pest.

Adult glassy-winged sharpshooter

Adult glassy-winged sharpshooter

  • Approximately 1/2 inch (11 to 13 mm) long.

  • Dark brown to black in color with an ivory underside.

  • Top of the head has small, ivory-to-yellowish spots.

  • Body shape is parallel-sided with a pointed head.

  • Wings are partly transparent with reddish veins.

  • Wings are folded flat over the body.

  • Length of hind tibia has two rows of small spines (fig. 1).

  • While resting, they shift their bodies from side to side (inspiring the name “sharpshooters”).

Nymphal stages

Nymphal stage glassy-winged sharpshooter

  • Glassy-winged sharpshooter has five nymphal (immature) stages.

  • Nymphal length ranges from 1/16 inch (2 mm) long for the first stage up to 3/8 inch (9 mm) for fifth stage.

  • Nymphs are olive-gray with prominent reddish eyes.

  • Immatures are wingless and have softer bodies.

  • Immatures have piercing/sucking mouthparts and a bulging face.

Glassy-winged sharpshooter mouthparts

  • Muscles that operate the feeding pump give the face a swollen appearance

  • Piercing/sucking mouthparts

Fig. 1. Hind leg

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