Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Taro planthopper (041)

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  • Narrow distribution. Southeast Asia, Oceania. Three types. On taro. An important pest.
  • The planthoppers damage taro by sucking the sap from the leaves. In dry times, when numbers are high, the leaves bend down. They spread several viruses.
  • Winged adults arrive first in new gardens, laying eggs in the base of leaf stalks, producing wingless adults.
  • Natural enemies: egg-sucking bug.
  • Cultural control: avoid planting new crops next to old; remove outer leaves with eggs before planting 'tops'. Note that rains drown the young nymphs.
  • Chemical control: PDPs: neem, pyrethrum, or derris; or use synthetic pyrethroids, but they are likely to kill natural enemies.
Common Name

Taro planthopper

Scientific Name

Tarophagus spp. Previously, only one species was recognised, Tarophagus proserpina. In 1989, a study found there were three: Tarophagus colocasiae, Tarophagus persephone and Tarophagus proserpina.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2019) Tarophagus proserpina (taro planthopper. Invasive Species Compendium. (; and Tasi A, Dale A (2021) Taro planthopper. Featured Creatures, UF/IFAS. (,tibia%2C%20or%20fourth%20leg%20segment.); and Carmichael A, et al. (2008) TaroPest: an illustrated guide to pests and diseases of taro in the South Pacific. ACIAR Monograph No. 132, 76 pp. (; and from Pest Alert (2015) The taro planthopper, Tarophagus colocasiae (Matsumura), a new delphacid planthopper in Florida. FDACS. ( Photo 4 Graham Teakle, Canberra.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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