Sharpshooters are also called Doggers. They are a distinct group of insects belong to the leafhopper family. About 2.500 species are found in the U.S. and Canada. Adults are elongated and parallel-sided. They are about 3/8-1/2 inch long and only about 1/8 inch wide. Their head is elongated, forward-pointing and rounded in front. Many species are marked or patterned with bright colors.

 

Sharpshooters often sit upside down on the plants and when approached, they will run sideways around to the opposite side of the stem or leaf that they are feeding on.

The females deposit their eggs in plant tissue. The immature look much like the adults except for size and the absence of wings. Before reaching the adult stage they go through five immature stages. Some species of sharpshooters have several generations each year.

They spend the winter in the egg stage or in some species as adults.

These pests suck juices from plants. They will feed on many crops, ornamental plants, trees and weeds. They often excrete a large amount of honeydew that can result in a condition called sooty mold. Sooty mold is not a plant disease but it is caused by the black spores of certain fungi feeding on the honeydew excreted by the sharpshooters.

Some species transmit certain plant diseases.

Some common species are; the southern garden leafhopper, the potato leafhopper, the rose leafhopper and the apple leafhopper.