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Alebra albostriella

Pinned maple leafhopper. Photo: Paul Langlois, Museum Collections: Cicadas, Planthoppers, & Allies, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.
Scientific Name: 
Alebra albostriella
Common Name: 
Maple Leafhopper
Growing Degree Days (GDD's): 
None available at this time.
Host Plant(s) Common Name (Scientific Name): 
Basswood (Tilia spp.)
Beech (Fagus spp.)
Cherry (Prunus spp.)
Elm (Ulmus spp.)
Hawthorne (Crataegus spp.)
Hickory (Carya spp.) 
Hornbeam (Carpinus spp.)
Maple (Acer spp.)
Oak (Quercus spp.)
Sumac (Rhus spp.)
Insect Description: 

The maple leafhopper is native to the eastern United States and parts of California. The insects are bright yellow, approximately 4 mm. long, and feed on a variety of host plants despite the common name. In the eastern part of its range, it is an early season leafhopper, most abundant in the spring. One generation occurs per year. Adult females create longitudinal slits the the bark of twigs where they lay their eggs. Sometimes twigs are injured or killed by the egg laying process, especially if the slits encircle the entire twig. Egg hatch occurs when leaves are half-expanded in the spring. Over approximately one month's time, the nymphs mature into adults. Adults are typically done with their activity by or before July. Feeding by the nymphs and adults typically produces snowflake shaped white blotches on the upper surface of host plant leaves. This particular pattern to the stippling is common for mesophyll feeding leafhoppers.

Damage to Host: 

The nymphs and adults of the maple leafhopper feed on the undersides of host plant leaves. Egg laying in host plant twigs may girdle and kill the twigs. Feeding damage will first appear as very numerous small, white spots on the upper leaf surface, that with magnification may appear snowflake shaped. Some leafhopper species (there are a few important ones that are difficult to identify/distinguish from one another physically) also vector plant diseases. Noticeable damage from leafhopper feeding may be more common in nursery settings than in managed landscapes.


Flip host plant leaves over and search for feeding nymphs or adults, particularly if white, blotched stippling is visible on the upper leaf surface. Scout for maple leafhopper activity approximately from May-June. Some species may also be very attracted to yellow sticky traps, and thus that technique can be used to monitor for leafhopper activity. (If using yellow sticky traps in a nursery, check the cards at least once a week.)

Cultural Management: 

As always, promoting the overall health of the host plant will help reduce the impact of leafhopper feeding.

In nurseries, screening or covers can be used to exclude some leafhoppers from young, high-value plants. In some studies, silver reflective plastic mulches have been shown to repel leafhoppers (ex. in corn crops) but this may be a useful tool in nursery production as well.

Natural Enemies & Biological Control: 

Several types of parasitic wasps have been reported from leafhopper populations, as well as predators feeding on all leafhopper life stages. However, none have yet been credited with reducing problematic leafhopper populations below damaging levels, particularly on nursery plants.

Chemical Management: 

Acephate (NL)

Acetamiprid (L)

Azadirachtin (NL)

Beauveria bassiana (NL)

Bifenthrin (NL)

Buprofezin (NL)

Carbaryl (L)

Chromobacterium subtsugae (NL)

Chlorpyrifos (N)

Clothianidin (NL)

Deltamethrin (L)

Dinotefuran (NL)

Fenpropathrin (NL)

Tau-fluvalinate (NL)

Gamma-cyhalothrin (L)

Imidacloprid (L)

Insecticidal soap (NL)

Isaria (paecilomyces) fumosoroseus (NL)

Lambda-cyhalothrin (L)

Malathion (L)

Neem oil (NL)

Permethrin (L)

Pyrethrins+piperonyl butoxide (L)

Pyrethrin+sulfur (NL)


When used in a nursery setting, chlorpyrifos is for quarantine use only.

Active ingredients that may be applied systemically include: acephate (injection), acetamiprid (injection), azadirachtin (injection, soil drench), clothianidin (soil drench), dinotefuran (soil drench), imidacloprid (soil drench), and neem oil (soil drench).

Make insecticide applications after bloom to protect pollinators. Applications at times of the day and temperatures when pollinators are less likely to be active can also reduce the risk of impacting their populations.

Note: Beginning July 1, 2022, neonicotinoid insecticides are classified as state restricted use for use on tree and shrub insect pests in Massachusetts. For more information, visit the MA Department of Agricultural Resources Pesticide Program.

Read and follow all label instructions for safety and proper use. If this guide contradicts language on the label, follow the most up-to-date instructions on the product label. Always confirm that the site you wish to treat and the pest you wish to manage are on the label before using any pesticide. Read the full disclaimer. Active ingredients labeled "L" indicate some products containing the active ingredient are labeled for landscape uses on trees or shrubs. Active ingredients labeled "N" indicate some products containing the active ingredient are labeled for use in nurseries. Always confirm allowable uses on product labels. This active ingredient list is based on what was registered for use in Massachusetts at the time of publication. This information changes rapidly and may not be up to date. If you are viewing this information from another state, check with your local Extension Service and State Pesticide Program for local uses and regulations. Active ingredient lists were last updated: January 2024. To check current product registrations in Massachusetts, please visit: .