- Author: Tunyalee Martin and Lucia Varela
Nymph of the Virginia creeper leafhopper (VCLH), Erythroneura ziczac. It is a new invasive pest on grapes.
(Photo by Mike Poe, UC IPM)
The influx of invasive species has been on the rise in the last decade. One invasive insect recently detected in the North Coast counties of Mendocino and Lake is the Virginia creeper leafhopper (VCLH), Erythroneura ziczac. UC IPM Advisor Lucia Varela, in collaboration with Mendocino County Viticulture and Plant Science Advisor Glenn McGourty, is investigating VCLH. VCLH is similar in appearance
and life cycle to the native western grape leafhopper (WGLH), Erythroneura elegantula. View the videos to distinguish the two species. The difference is that WGLH is well controlled by a complex of Anagrus species egg parasites while VCLH, as a new invasive, is not. While insecticides that effectively control WGLH also control VCLH in conventional vineyards, in organic vineyards VCLH control is more difficult due to high populations, and damage has been observed. Native to the northern Midwest, VCLH was first spotted in Northern California in the late 1980s. Since then it has been moving southward and was detected in the northern Sacramento Valley and northern Sierra Foothills by 2008.
See UC IPM's 2012 Annual Report for more news on non-native bugs invading California.