UCCE Sonoma County
University of California
UCCE Sonoma County

GWSS Identification

Identification of adult and nymph (immature stage)

Adult Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
Adult Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
Fifth-instar (left) and Adult (right) Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
Fifth-instar (left) and Adult (right) Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
  • Approximately 1/2 inch (11 to 13 mm) long.
  • Body shape is parallel-sided with a pointed head.
Click on images to enlarge

  • Wings are partly transparent with reddish veins, folded flat over the body.
  • Dark brown to black in color with ivory white undersides and belly.
  • Top of head has small, ivory-to-yellow spots.
  • Muscles that operate the feeding pump give the face a swollen appearance.
  • Piercing/sucking mouthparts (white circle).
  • Length of hind tibia has two rows of small spines.
  • While resting, they shift their bodies from side-to-side (inspiring the name "sharpshooters").
  • The Glassy-winged sharpshooter has five nymphal (immature) stages.
  • Nymphal length ranges from 1/16 inch (2 mm) long for the first stage up to 3/8 inch (9 mm) for the fifth stage.
  • Nymphs are olive-gray with prominent reddish eyes.
  • Immatures are wingless and have softer bodies.
  • Immatures have piercing/sucking mouthparts and a bulging face.

University of California Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
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