- Widespread. Asia, Africa (restricted), South America, the Caribbean, Europe (restricted), Oceania. In Australia, and many Pacific island countries.
- Serious pest of rice. Also on maize and wild grasses. Sucking sap causes stunting, fewer tillers, low grain weight, 'hopperburn' (>200 adults per plant). High early rainfall then long dry periods, dense planting, excessive N and insecticides encourage outbreaks. Indirect damage in Asia from spread of viruses.
- Eggs laid into stems or midribs. Adults 2-3 mm long, pale brown, with white stripe down centre of shield over the head and thorax. Long-winged adults migrate when populations high. Long distance migrations in Asia.
- Natural enemies: rice bug, Cyrtorhinus lividipennis (see Fact Sheet no. 419).
- Cultural control: synchronise planting between neighbours avoiding overlapping crops; monitor using lightbulb over pan of water, away from field and nursery; apply split applications of N; use early-maturing varieties, and grow only two crop/year; drain fields for 3-4 day if populations highs; do not ratoon crop; plough in stubble after harvest; tolerant varieties.
- Chemical control: use pesticides for nursery (seedbed) if: (i) more than one planthopper per stem, or (ii) more planthoppers than natural enemies. In nursery or field avoid broad-spectrum pesticides.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Rice white-backed planthopper (423)
Photo 1. Planthopper attack on rice, causing 'hopperburn', a wilt, drying out and eventual death of plants in patches where populations of planthoppers are high.
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2018) Sogatella furcifera (white-backed planthopper). Crop Protection Compendium. (https://www.cabi.org/cpc/datasheet/50497); and information (and Photo 4) from Planthopper. Rice Knowledge Bank. IRRI. (http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/training/fact-sheets/pest-management/insects/item/planthopper). Photo 1 IRRI Photos Part of the image collection of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricephotos/6233360329/in/photolist-66ExZW-8nPXie-66EDHS-66Ernj-66A8WM-66AfNR-xwT68F-xfpboh-xgtnnE-vuR2so-uynhx5-auPARP). Photos 2&3 Paul Langlois, Museum Collections: Cicadas, Planthoppers, & Allies, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org.
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.