Identification of a sapsucker
Hi, This was spotted in New Zealand in large numbers on grapevines, olives and native vegetation (all along the edge of pines). It appears to be sap-sucking on vigorous and mature tissue — honeydew present, bees attracted. Its wings have 4 bits to them. Could not visibly see any sucking mouthparts with the naked eye. Very docile but hop with force when disturbed. Wings lay flat, not erect. Bodyshape reminiscent of leafhopper but wings are throwing me off – much more moth-like. Maximum dimension 1/2 inch square. Any clues appreciated!
These are Planthoppers as you originally suspected. We located the Ricaniid Planthoppers on the Geocities website, and believe this might be the Passionvine Hopper, Scolypopa australis. We found a website that states: “Scolypopa australis … remains as the only ricaniid recorded in New Zealand” as well as: “This species builds up into huge populations on passion vines and kiwifruit vines causing heavy deposits of ‘honeydew’. This leads to the growth of sooty moulds which impair the marketability of the fruit.”