A couple of days ago, I noticed a few leafhoppers on one of the rhododendrons. I went out to look for them this afternoon, and there's been a population explosion; they're on all the rhodos now, hopping away merrily.
|Rhododendron leafhopper, Graphocephala fennahi, a little under 1 cm. long.|
These insects feed exclusively on the sap of rhododendrons. They may carry rhodo fungus disease, and may cause the shrub to drop its leaves, as well. But they're so pretty! I can't force myself to kill them, as a pest.
No matter; the eight-legged exterminators are on the job:
|Happy cross spider, with leafhopper wrap.|
The spiders are on every rhododendron, and on the evergreens around them. I checked about a dozen webs this afternoon; the spiders are fat, and about half of them had a leafhopper in hand at the moment.