Lucere leafhopper - Austroasca alfalfae, Vegetable leafhopper - Austroasca viridigrisea

Pest Status: The lucerne leafhopper is a moderate pest. Despite its widespread abundance, the vegetable leafhopper (jassid) is only a very minor pest.


  • Both the adults and nymphs are sap suckers.
  • Lucerne leafhoppers are phloem feeders and inject a toxin, causing leaves to turn yellow and burn off (die) from the tips. These symptoms are called ´hopper burn´.
  • Vegetable leafhoppers are xylem feeders and their feeding causes lots of small white spots (from dead cells) on leaves. The resultant feeding patterns are known as ´stippling´.
  • Severe infestations of the lucerne jassid can stunt plant growth and reduce yield, but even high vegetable jassid populations have negligible if any effect on yield.
  • Damage is worse when plants are stressed.

Monitoring and control

  • Sample weekly at vegetative, flowering and pegging stages.
  • Sample five leaves halfway up plants at six locations over the paddock for lucerne leafhoppers, and use a sweep net for vegetable leafhoppers.
  • Use chemical control if more than 20% of leaves are affected with hopper burn.
  • Only control vegetable leafhoppers if more than 25 hoppers per single sweep over a single row (90 cm spacing).
  • For current chemical control options see Pest Genie or APVMA.

Further information