Garden fleahopper: Description

Garden fleahoppers: Winged male [top] and brachipterous female [bottom] garden fleahopper, Halticus bractatus.Garden fleahoppers: Winged male [top] and brachipterous female [bottom] adult garden fleahoppers, Halticus bractatus, with light-green nymphs. (Photos Marlin E. Rice)

The garden fleahopper, Halticus bractatus, is a very small (about 2 mm long), black plant bug in the family Miridae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) (Knight 1941) and in appearance may resemble corn flea beetles. The wings are "peppered" with small white spots. The males and females of this insect are dimorphic (Knight 1941). The female is often has short wings (brachypterous), but can also be fully winged like the males (Knight 1941, Borror et al. 1992). The males are always fully winged. This insect is very rare in soybean and mostly has been observed on plants adjacent to alfalfa fields in the Loess Hills of western Iowa.