- Color – dark brown to dark gray with two red stripes across the wings, red legs, and eyes.
- The head is triangular, and the wings are held tent-like over the abdomen.
- They are 3/8-inch long.
- The small nymphs are yellow, turn orange as they molt, and can be found under a “ball of spit” on grass leaves.
- They have piercing and sucking mouthparts.
Biology and Habits:
- Typically they occur in southeastern states and west to Texas.
- They overwinter as eggs in thatch, in soil, behind leaf sheaths, or in slits in grass leaves.
- Eggs hatch in March and April.
- Developing nymphs feed and develop while covered with an accumulation of spittle.
- Development (egg to adult) requires 4 to 7 weeks.
- Adults produce in mid-summer produce a second generation. The females lay 45 eggs over a two week period and the nymphs complete development in 4 weeks.
- There are two generations per year.
- Centipede, bermuda, St. Augustine, rye and bahia grasses.
- The most significant an damage occurs in mid-summer, typically beginning in shady areas.
- In drought stressed turf, feeding causes the grass to become yellow, then brown, and eventually die.
- As the adult feed, the inject a toxin which moves throughout the stem and causes the grass to die.