Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Rice green leafhopper (417)

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  • Restricted. Asia, Africa (Cameroon), Oceania. In Australia, Fiji, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea.
  • A minor pest of lowland irrigated rice. Also on wild grasses and sedges. Sucks sap causing white patches on tillers, wilting and collapse (‘hopperburn’); indirect damage from spreading rice tungro viruses. Note, these viruses NOT in Pacific island countries; nearest country is Irian Jaya.
  • Eggs laid into leaf blade or leaf sheath (groups up to 15); nymphs yellow turning light brown, then black; adults, green with two spots extending to tips of forewings, black tips to wings, and head with black bands. Not strong flyers. No large migrations.
  • Natural enemies: usually under control by parasites and predators, e.g., Cyrtorhinus lividipennis (see Fact Sheet no. 419).
  • Cultural control: isolate nurseries distant from fields preventing tungro virus infections; synchronise planting with neighbours, preventing overlap; create rice-free period so hoppers lose virus infections; transplant >3 week-old seedlings, delaying exposure to infection; do not apply excessive N; weed; check ratoon crops for tungro, and plough in stubble if tungro present; rotate with maize, soybean, peanut, or fallow.
  • Chemical control: probably not required. If needed, use neem.
Common Name

Rice green leafhopper

Scientific Name

Nephotettix nicropictus; there are several other Nephotettix green leafhopper species that feed on rice, e.g., Nephotettix malayanus and Nephotettix virescens.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI Plantwise Knowledge Bank (; and Plant-sucking pests - green leafhoppers. (; and from Catindig J (undated) Rice leaffolder, Green leafhopper. Rice Knowledge Bank. IRRI.( Photo 1 Nephotettix nigropictus Natasha wright, Cook's Pest Control, Photo 2&3 Bhusal K et al. (2019) A review of rice Tungro virus in Nepal. Journal of Plant Sciences and Crop Protection. Volume 2(1).

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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