Subject: bright red and blue bug
Location: DeKalb, IL
June 29, 2013 10:05 am
This little guy is sitting on a sunflower leaf in DeKalb, IL. Photo taken Saturday, June 29.
This colorful creature is a Candystriped Leafhopper, Graphocephala coccinea. Though they are quite lovely, Candystriped Leafhoppers are members of a family that are generally not that welcome in the garden. They are in the order Hemiptera, a group of insects with piercing and sucking mouthparts. The Candystriped Leafhopper will such the nourishing fluids from plants. While we do not know the specifics on this particular species, BugGuide does indicate on the family page that: “nymphs and adults feed on sap of above-ground stems or leaves of plants; some species are more host-specific than others” and “Several species are serious crop pests; some transmit plant pathogens (viruses, mycoplasma-like organisms, etc.)” We doubt that Candystriped Leafhoppers are ever plentiful enough to present a problem in the home garden.