October 2023 Pest of the Month: Glassy-winged sharpshooter
3 November 2023
The Glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) is a large leafhopper, with a body 12-14mm long with a large flat head and prominent eyes. Body colouring is generally dark brown to black above with a creamed coloured underside.
The wings of GWSS are transparent with reddish veins. Females may have a white chalky patch on each wing and the head may be covered with small ivory or yellow dots.
GWSS does not currently exist in Australia but does pose a major threat to horticulture.
It sucks the sap from the stems, leaf petioles, branches, and trunks of woody plants, causing dehydration of plant tissue, reduced yields, lower quality fruit and juice, and a white-washed appearance on lower leaves and branches due to the liquid they excrete.
GWSS feeds on a wide range of plants, including avocado, citrus, eucalyptus, oleander, grape, lettuce, pittosporum, gardenia, and many others. It often multiplies rapidly, leading to significant damage. Most importantly, it can transmit Xylella fastidiosa, Australia's top-priority plant pest.
GWSS has a distinctive and large appearance compared to most native leafhopper species.
Adult glassy-winged sharpshooter Photo by Reyes Garcia III, USDA
Nymphs Photo by Regents of the University of California.
Photo by Regents of the University of California.
If you spot or suspect GWSS, you should do the following:
Call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline at 1800 084 881
Take a photo of the suspected Glassy-wing sharpshooter
For more information on GWSS, visit the below links: