Rhododendron Leafhopper

Graphocephala fennahi

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Bugs
  4. Rhododendron Leafhopper

About

The Rhododendron Leafhopper is a colourful bug which, as is name suggests, is found on Rhododendron bushes in the south of the country. It is one of very few insects to feed on Rhododendrons (both the adults and larvae feed on the sap), flourishing wherever bushes are present. However, they are known for spreading a fungal disease in these plants, often stopping them from flowering. In late summer, the adults lay their eggs in the buds of the Rhododendron, which hatch the following spring.

How to identify

The Rhododendron Leafhopper is a beautiful green and red leafhopper, with a black stripe through the eyes and across the face.

Where to find it

Southern England.

Habitats

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Both Common Rhododendrons and Rhododendron Leafhoppers are introduced species, the former arriving here in the 18th century and the latter in the 20th century. There are consequences of these introductions: Common Rhododendrons spread, taking over the understorey of woodlands and pushing out native wildlife; and those that wish to cultivate Rhododendrons struggle with the fungal disease the leafhoppers bring. The Wildlife Trusts work with surveyors, scientists and other conservationists to monitor changes in our native wildlife to determine the effects of environmental change, such as the introduction or spread of non-native species. You can help: volunteer for your local Trust and you'll be able to take part in surveys, adding to a growing bank of data.

Species information

Common name
Rhododendron Leafhopper
Latin name
Graphocephala fennahi
Category
Invertebrates
Bugs
Statistics
Length: 9mm
Conservation status
Introduced species.