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Stem Cutter - Stictocephala albescens

Stem Cutter - Stictocephala albescens
Philadelphia, BeerInHand County, Pennsylvania, USA
May 23, 2011
Size: 1/4" long x 1/3" high
This bug eats around the stem of my pepper and tomato plants. After it rings the plant stem completely the plant falls over and eventually dies from lack of water.


Ceresa albescens
Treehopper nymphs do NOT girdle stems - they pierce the plant tissue with their slender beaks and suck sap. It is cutworm larvae that come out at night and girdle the stems. Dig in the soil around your plants and you should find them. (To prevent this damage, plant the seedlings in the middle of tin cans with the bottoms cut out, so the tin projects several inches into the soil and also well above the topsoil).

I saw more than one page via Google search that says Treehopper instars do girdle stems -
"Adults and late stage (instar) nymphs "girdle" stems"
"Damage: Adults and late instar nymphs "girdle" stems of seedlings causing stems to be brittle. Later, plants can break at that injured site and fall over"
"Girdling is caused by late instar nymphs more than by adults."

In either case, your reply is appreciated.

Moved for expert attention
Moved from ID Request.

Treehopper (Membracidae) nymph of some kind. Our hopper expert, Dr. Hamilton, will be able to tell you more.

For future reference... Please submit different views as separate shots, rather than as a collage.

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