BACKGROUND: This paper deals with supervised management of Scaphoideus titanus (Homoptera Cicadellidae) and describes a phenology model designed for improving the understanding of the within-vineyard dynamics and the timing of insect growth regulator (IGR) applications. RESULTS: The model consists of five components dealing with (a) the beginning of the post-dormancy development of overwintering eggs, (b) the egg hatching patterns, (c) the duration of first-instar nymphs, (d) the development and survival of subsequent instars and (e) the stochastic development of cohorts and their passage into the adult stage. Laboratory data permitted the parameterisation of temperature-dependent development and survival functions. Field data consisting mainly of beating tray catches allowed model parameterisation and validation. The model satisfactorily predicts the dynamics of age structures, the beginning as well as the pattern of egg hatching, the occurrence of the third instar and the emergence of adults. CONCLUSION: The phenology model is useful for timing IGR applications and for setting up monitoring activities in supervised S. titanus control. The model is an entry point into an adaptive management system, in that real-time weather and monitoring data are continuously integrated into the model for improving its explanatory and predictive capabilities. c 2011 Society of Chemical Industry Keywords: Scaphoideus titanus; egg hatching; nymphal development; adult emergence; phenology model; time-varying delay; insect growth regulator application; sampling.