Featured Insect

The glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis, is a member of the order Hemiptera or true bugs, the leafhopper family Cicadellidae, and sharpshooter genus Homalodisca 1. The life cycle of the glassy-winged sharpshooter begins when the overwintering adults lay their first brood in Spring 1. Nymphs, which are approximately 2mm long, hatch fourteen days later. The GWSS has five instars (developmental stages) before reaching adulthood 1. The second brood hatches between June and October which become the overwintering adults 1. The adult glassy-winged sharpshooter is 13mm long with dark brown coloration, clear wings with red veins, and a yellow or white abdomen 1. The nymphs appear similar to adults, only smaller (9mm) and without wings 1. They feed on the sap of non-deceduous plants and deciduous plants in late winter 1. Nymphs feed on non-lignified petioles and stems 1.

Due to the large number of possible host plants, over 200, the glassy-winged sharpshooter is found in residential landscaping, agricultural fields, and wild lands 2. The GWSS is known to feed on at least 70 species of plants 2. A native to the southeastern United States and northeastern Mexico, the glassy-winged sharpshooter spreads easier than other leafhoppers due to its ability to fly between 3 to 16 feet per jump enabling it to travel a quarter mile per day 2. The glassy-winged sharpshooter is of economic concern due the xylem penetrating mouthparts that carry and move plant pathogenic bacteria from one plant to another 2. The GWSS is the primary vector of concern for Pierce’s disease which is spread from plant to plant as insects feed on individuals infected with the bacteria Xyllela fastidiosa 1.


1. Glassy-winged Sharpshooter management guidelines–UC IPM. Ucanr.edu. [accessed
2023 Jul 31]. https://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7492.html

2. Danoff-Burg JA. Invasion biology introduced species summary project – Columbia University. Columbia.edu. [accessed 2023 Jul 31]. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff- burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/Homalodisca_coagulata.html

Print Friendly, PDF & Email