The Candy Stripe Leafhopper is a colorful garden visitor with its red and green (sometimes blue) stripes. Candy Stripe Leafhoppers to a complex of six species in the subspecies, Graphocephala. Large leafhoppers are sometime called sharpshooters. Sharpshooters have sucking mouthparts that they insert into the xylem tissue of plants. Xylem is mostly water with a dilute concentration of nutrients. Sharpshooters filter the water from the nutrients and excrete it in a stream. The name “Sharpshooter” describes the jet of water that “shoots out”.
Sharpshooters themselves cause little damage to plants, but can transmit viruses and other diseases of plants. The individual pictured is resting on sunflower.