Plant hoppers are sap suckers, just like aphids. They can destroy your crops. Here’s how to get rid of plant hoppers using simple but effective techniques
If you’re an avid gardener, you’re probably well aware of the pesky little creatures called plant hoppers.
These critters devour delicate foliage and can even cause plant damage if not dealt with properly.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get rid of plant hoppers.
In this article, I will discuss some effective methods for getting rid of plant hoppers.
I will also provide some tips for preventing plant hopper infestations, so you can keep your plants healthy and thriving.
What Are Planthoppers?
Planthoppers are a large group of tiny insects that measure about 1–12 millimeters in length.
They typically have short blunt bodies covered in colored wings, normally green or brown.
These bugs feed on plant sap. They obtain this by inserting their straw-like mouthparts into the stems and leaves.
Are They Dangerous?
Planthoppers are small insects that feed on plants.
While they may look harmful, they generally don’t pose a danger to humans.
However, large numbers of planthoppers are destructive if they infest crops or landscaping plants.
Do They Bite/Sting?
Planthoppers may look intimidating, but they actually don’t bite or sting humans.
These insects are usually harmless unless you happen to be a plant.
Some planthoppers do have spines on their hind legs which can pierce the skin if handled carelessly.
It’s best to leave them alone. Otherwise, there’s no need to worry about these little critters causing any physical harm.
Are Planthoppers Poisonous?
Although most planthoppers are not toxic to humans, some species can be dangerous.
Certain species have venom in their saliva, which could lead to swelling, itching, and other unpleasant reactions.
Furthermore, the droppings of planthoppers can sometimes contaminate public water sources after heavy rains.
Ingesting contaminated water could cause diarrhea and other symptoms associated with food poisoning.
Do Planthoppers Damage Crops?
Planthoppers are small insects responsible for causing significant damage to crop yields.
These sap-sucking pests feed on plant juices, causing leaf curl, yellowing of leaves, wilting stems, and stunted growth.
Further damage may be caused by planthopper’s ability to spread viruses and toxins. This can kill off a crop before any harvest occurs.
Besides physical damage, these bugs hinder growth by emitting a sweet odor known as honeydew.
This serves as food for sooty mold – an unsightly black fungus that blocks photosynthesis.
Integrated pest management methods like using sticky traps, pruning infected plants, and using natural predators can help keep planthopper in control.
How To Get Rid of Planthoppers?
Planthoppers are pesky garden pests that can wreak havoc on your plants if left unchecked. The good news is, getting rid of them doesn’t have to be a huge headache.
Identify the species of planthopper.
To identify the species, start by recognizing their distinct physical features like size, shape, wing markings, coloration, and antennae length.
A magnifying glass may be necessary to see certain details.
Once you have a good understanding of all these factors, search online for images that match your planthopper’s profile.
This should help point out the species’ name and provide more information on controlling it.
These days, there are many apps that can search an image and return a relevant species and other details.
Use physical barriers
Setting up sticky traps or netting around the plants these pests are targeting is an effective measure.
Another way is creating a fence with fine mesh around your garden. This will prevent adults from getting in, as well as eggs that could hatch later.
To further limit the spread, you should clean off affected plants and remove organic debris.
This limits their places of refuge and reduces the amount of food available for them.
Remove and destroy infested plants
One of the most effective approaches is to remove and destroy any infested plants.
This means locating any affected plant material and removing it from the garden or flower bed.
Dispose of it in an appropriate manner, such as by burning or burying it.
Doing this can help prevent the spread of the insects from infested plants to other nearby plants, as well as diminish their overall population.
If done regularly, this approach should help you keep planthopper numbers under control.
Use insecticidal soap or neem oil
A simple, quick, and organic way to rid your plants of planthoppers is by using insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Insecticidal soap works by smothering the insects, while neem oil acts as an antifeedant.
To use either product, simply mix it with water in the recommended ratio and spray it onto both the tops and undersides of foliage.
Use chemical insecticides
Using chemical insecticides to get rid of planthoppers can be an effective way to solve the problem in the short term.
It is important to remember these products can be toxic, and therefore avoid spraying them near crop plants that are ingested by humans or animals.
Planthopper responds quickly to appropriately applied chemical insecticides. Most plants will show visible signs of relief after just a couple of days.
A balanced approach that combines cultural and physical control measures with judicious applications of pesticides is often your best bet for long-term success.
Attract natural predators
If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of pesky planthoppers, why not attract predators like ladybugs and spiders to your garden?
Ladybugs are helpful in controlling pests, while spiders hunt the more mobile nymphs.
Planting certain flowers such as alyssum, marigolds, daisies, and yarrow can be used to attract these beneficial insects.
They also provide a much-needed splash of color.
Keeping your garden free from insecticides is also key, as this could limit the natural predators’ ability to seek out food sources.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get rid of planthoppers naturally?
To effectively get rid of planthoppers, use physical barriers such as sticky traps or netting, create a fence with fine mesh, and clean off affected plants to reduce food sources.
Remove and destroy infected plants and use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and spiders by planting flowers that they like and keeping the garden free from insecticides.
Are planthoppers harmful to plants?
Planthoppers are sap-sucking insects that cause significant damage to crop yields through leaf curl, yellowing of leaves, wilting stems, and stunted growth.
They also spread viruses and toxins as well as emit honeydew which can lead to sooty mold blocking photosynthesis.
Integrated pest management methods, such as using sticky traps and natural predators, can be used to keep planthopper populations in control.
Is neem oil good for plant hoppers?
An organic option for treating plant hoppers is to use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Insecticidal soap and neem oil can be used to control these insects.
They work by smothering the insects or acting as an antifeedant, respectively.
Both products should be mixed with water in the specified ratio before being sprayed onto foliage on both sides.
What eats plant hoppers?
For natural pest control, attracting predators like ladybugs and spiders may be helpful.
Planting certain flowers, such as alyssum, marigolds, daisies, and yarrow, can aid in this effort while adding some color to your garden.
It is important to avoid insecticides, as they may disrupt the natural food source of these beneficial insects.
To get rid of planthoppers, the most straightforward approach is to remove them manually.
You can then use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to reduce their numbers.
Additionally, promote natural predators like ladybugs and lacewings in your garden as they will feed on planthoppers.
Finally, adjust your watering regimen since planthoppers thrive in moist environments.
If implemented correctly, these steps should help keep those pesky planthoppers at bay!
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Planthopper from Australia is Lydda elongata
Mysterious Bug I wondered if you could help ID this bug for me. I am located near Cairns, FNQ, Australia. I have seen these in sedge grass near a local pond. They always have their wings in this position. I suspect they may be some kind of Cicada but have been unable to ID it so far. Andy MacDougall Hi Andy, We solicited the help of Eric Eaton, and he wrote: “Fulgoroidea (planthoppers) that I don’t recognize more specifically!.” Coincidentally, your photos were also sent to us by a member of a photography forun where you must have posted the images. The other email also contained view from above that was not among the images you sent. Update: (03/25/2008) Unknown planthopper from Australia Hi Daniel, The insect might be a member of the Derbidae family, which live in the tropics and According to the CSIRO “The Insects of Australia” they include the Zoraida: “The body of the Zoraida is very short, but the wings exceedingly long and narrow.” www.ne.jp/asahi/rhyncha/index/samE/dbrisam.html Regards, Grev
Letter 2 – Ricaniid Planthoppers: Passionvine Hopper
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.”
Letter 3 – Unknown Fulgorid Planthopper from Panama
Giant Panamanian Leafhopper
Merry Christmas! I know it is the holiday and all, but your website has been like a Christmas present to me. So many beautiful, weird, and interesting things! And I greatly appreciate the attitude of enjoying them simply for their own sake, and not destroying them. Attached is a photo I took along the Pipeline Road in November 2007. It is about 2-inches long and looks like a leafhopper to me. It had this fuzzy stuff trailing along that appeared to be attached to the abdomen. Odd bug. Any ideas? Thanks!
Hi again Allen,
This is one of the wax producing Fulgorid Planthoppers in the family Fulgoridae. Sorry we are unable to exactly identify the species. We received another example of this species from Costa Rica in February of this year, but were unable to properly identify it.
Letter 4 – Fulgorid Planthoppers from Honduras
We live in the mountains of Honduras, and we frequently see these in groups on certain types of trees. Generally, there is also a cloud of them flying overhead, near the tree. The body of the bug is around 2 – 3" long. Thanks so much for any identification help you can give us!
Gracias Lempira, Honduras
We just received an amazing close-up of this Fulgorid Planthopper. Eric Eaton had it correctly identified by Lois O’Brien as Cerogenes auricoma.
Letter 5 – IDENTIFIED: Unknown [probably] Fulgorid Planthopper from Belize
what the heck is this bug
We discovered this insect in Belize. It is approximately 10 centimeters long and we are fairly certain that it is a member of the order Homonoptera. Can you help us? Thank you so much,
That is a big insect. We believe it is one of the Fulgorid Planthoppers, but we would love to get you a positive identification.
Daniel: You are most welcome. Hey, I finally have an answer on the fulgorid, thanks to the world authority, Lois O’Brien. She says it is Cerogenes auricoma. No common name, but the Latin translates to “wax producer with golden hair.” Seems appropriate. Apparently the native Indians use the yellow wax on the head and thorax of this insect to make a dye.
Letter 6 – Unknown Homopteran Plant Hopper from Costa Rica
Costa Rican cotton ball? Hi Bugman Well, I have never in all my days seen one quite like this. It is about 2″ long, I would say. Hope you can help identify it for us. We live on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. I flew into my husband’s shop the other day. Thanks Sarah Morgan Hi Sarah, We can only be very general about this identification. It is a Homopteran Plant Hopper and we are not even sure of the family since there are many families in the tropics that do not occur in temperate zones. Additionally, available reference materials are often sketchy. The white feathery projections are probably a waxy substance produced by the insect. We will see if Eric Eaton can provide any additional information. Update: June 17, 2012 We believe this might be a Wax Tail Hopper, Pterodictya reticularis, based on this FlickR posting.
Letter 7 – Unknown Ricaniid Planthopper from Turkey: possibly Passionvine Hopper???
invasive moth in Turkey?
Wow, what a great site! I am a biology teacher and I am not even sure this is a moth!?! It is a recent addition to the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey (between Rize and Hoppa). The locals call it a ‘Kiwi moth’ because it showed up about 6 years ago – around the same time kiwi plants were brought in for production. I took pictures of the larva and the adult. The adult is about 3 cm long and 4 cm wide with transparent bands on the wings. The larva is 1 cm or so not including the ‘tail’. Thank you for any help you can give!
We are going to try your research skills and charge you with completing our research and arriving at a positive identification, then writing us back with the answer. This is some species of Planthopper in the family Ricaniidae. According to Wikipedia, the family Ricaniidae contains: “over 40 genera and 400 species world-wide. Thus, they are one of the smaller families in the planthopper superfamily (Fulgoroidea). The highest diversity is in tropical Africa and Asia and in Australia , with a few species occurring the Palearctic.” It is likely that the species in your photos was introduced with the Kiwi since they appeared at the same time and since the family is well represented in Australia, hence probably New Zealand, though the original Kiwi vines may have originated elsewhere. Your insect most closely (though not exactly in our minds) resembles the Passionvine Hopper, Scolypopa australis, and we have found a page with images of the Passionvine Hopper on kiwi in New Zealand. The resemblance of your insect is quite close, so we would suspect it is perhaps in the same genus. It is also possible that through isolation from the main population, the appearance of the Turkish population has already begun to change, an example of evolution in process. We also located a site of Australian Ricaniidae species with some images. A Bonsaii for Beginners webpage pictures the nymphs of the Passionvine Hopper, and they also look very close to the image you have provided. On a humorous note, the New Zealand Plant Doctor website refers to the nymphs as Fluffy Bums.
Letter 8 – Unknown Cixiid Planthopper
Curiously looking insect. August 30, 2009 It was sitting on top of one of our corn plants. Very very small, somewhere between 1/8th of an inch to 1/4th of an inch in size. I’ve never seen anything like it around here before.The picture should be sufficient. Jonathan Campos Los Angeles, CA. Hi Jonathan, We don’t feel skilled enough to take this to a species or even genus level, but your insect is a Cixiid Planthopper in the family Cixiidae. There are numerous representatives on BugGuide. Perhaps an expert can come to our rescue and properly identify this Cixiid. Update from Eric Eaton August 31, 2009 Daniel: … Cixiid planthopper is some species in the genus Oliarus (there are at least 50 species north of Mexico). Hope that helps. Eric
Letter 9 – Fulgorid Planthopper from Costa Rica
Costa Rican Hopper? Crazy looking ‘nose.’ January 22, 2010 Walking through the primary forest in NE Costa Rica near Rio La Suerte, I stumbled across this beauty on on the bole of a tree. Being in the tropics I unfortunately couldn’t identify the tree, but it had a very smooth bole and according to a local these bugs frequent this particular tree. I’m guessing it’s some sort of hopper/spittlebug or something of the sort, the nose is so unusual, I’ve never seen anything like it. Mike Cleveland North Eastern Costa Rica Hi Mike, This is a Fulgorid Planthopper in the family Fulgoridae. In attempting to locate information on Costa Rican species, we stumbled upon a technical paper coauthored by Piotr Naskrecki who often assists us in the identification of Katydids. We will contact him to see if he recognizes your species. Instant Gratification thanks to Piotr Naskrecki Hi Daniel, I know this species very well. It is Phrictus quinquepartitus, a beautiful species found in the lowland forests of Central America, often on Peruvian almond (Terminalia oblonga). Cheers, Piotr
Letter 10 – Derbid Planthopper in Singapore
Orange (Black-winged) Leaf Sucking Insect? February 19, 2010 Hi Bugman, I found this interesting insect under a leaf and it doesn’t seem to be bothered by me getting close and taking pictures of it. It has long black wings that form a V shape (perpendicular to the body). It seemed that it was busy sucking on a leaf… with it’s mouth (or snout) stuck in the vein of the leaf. I tried searching the whatsthatbug or the net, and I don’t know if I hit the correct key words to get any good search results.. 🙁 Thanks a lot for your help! zybertooth Singapore Dear zybertooth, At first we thought this was some species of Fly in the order Diptera, but now we believe it is a Planthopper in the superfamily Fulgoroidea. It resembles one North American species pictured on BugGuide. We have not had any luck matching your amazing photos to anything posted online, but we will enlist the assistance of our readership on this identification. We will also contact Eric Eaton to see if he concurs that it is a Planthopper, or if he can confirm our original suspicion that it might be a Fly. Eric Eaton Agrees Planthopper, definitely. Lois O’Brien would know, of course. Maybe Derbidae? Cool image! Eric Hi Bugman, I just found out from a friend who’s a nature enthusiast that this is a Derbid Bug. FYI, zybertooth
Letter 11 – Issid Planthopper Nymph
Bristle-tailed fly March 11, 2010 I’ve been hiking in the foothills of Glendora Ca. for many years. Lately, I’ve been taking photos as I walk and today I snapped a picture that made me want to learn more about the insect. It is 3-10-10 and it was viewed at apprx. noon in L.A. county. Jason North America; Glendora California Hi Jason, You have encountered an immature Issid Planthopper, most likely Dictyobia permutata which feeds on California Buckwheat, a native plant found in the foothills. You can see additional images on BugGuide.
Letter 12 – Derbid Planthopper from Indonesia
what flying insect is it? Location: Jakarta, Indonesia March 8, 2011 12:47 am I don’t know what is it, it is a little bigger than mosquito. can you tell me what is it? Signature: daisugi, Indonesia Dear daisugi, This is a Derbid Planthopper in the family Derbidae. BugGuide, a website dedicated to the identification of North American insects, credits Andy Hamilton with this statement: “Nymphs of Derbidae feed on fungi. Adults just seem to hang around on vegetation waiting on others passing by.” Previous submissions to our website of this obscure family have been from Singapore, Australia and Ohio in the USA.
Letter 13 – Fulgorid Planthopper from Brazil
Brazil bug Location: Rio Negro, Brazil July 31, 2011 3:56 pm I found this beauty off the Rio Negro, north of Manaus, Brazil, close to Barcelos. Any idea what it could be? Definitely the strangest insect I’ve seen with my own two eyes! Thank you very much! Regards, Jason Drake Signature: Jason D. Hi Jason, This unusual insect is a Fulgorid Planthopper, a diverse group of insects with many exotic members, especially those residing in the tropics. The white filaments are actually a waxy substance produced by the insect, presumably for protection. Many members of the insect order Hemiptera, and that includes the Fulgorids, produces similar waxy secretions. While we do not know the exact species, we did find a matching photo on the Animals and Earth website.
Letter 14 – Planthopper from India: Eurybrachis tomentosa
Green bug on my passion flower plant Location: Maharashtra, India November 21, 2011 5:59 am Saw this green and white striped bug on my passion flower plant. Cant see in the pic but it has red antennae. Its about an inch long. Signature: Sukhie Dear Sukhie, This is a Planthopper in the order Hemiptera, possibly in the family Fulgoridae, however, we were not able to find any matching images or an identification online in our brief attempt. Planthoppers have sucking mouthparts and they feed off the juices found in plant stems, leaves and fruits. Identification Courtesy of Karl I believe this is a Eurybrachyid Planthopper (Fulgoroidea: Eurybrachyidae), a small Old World family of Planthoppers (according to Wikipedia). The India Nature Watch forum site has several pictures of what appears to be the same bug, identified as Eurybrachis tomentosa. Regards. Karl
Letter 15 – Unknown Derbid Planthopper from Australia
ID needed for derbidae family hopper Location: Lake Eacham, tablelands, far north qld, australia January 9, 2012 10:07 pm Taken near Lake Eacham, far north queensland. rainforest over xmas hols. I have taken similar ones before (Lydda elongata (Fabricius)i think) but this has a large nose ! thanks in advance Signature: Andy Dear Andy, Your Derbid Planthopper images are gorgeous and quite detailed. We are posting this as an unidentified insect, and we hope to be able to eventually provide you with a genus or species identification. The closeup image is especially nice.
Letter 16 – Fulgorid Planthopper from Costa Rica
Unknown Cost Rican Insect Location: Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica January 27, 2012 2:37 pm Greetings These two insects were observed on the bark of a huge tree (Terminalia) in the arboretum at LaSelva Biological station in the lowland rain forests of northeastern Costa Rica in late May 2006. They remained there most of one day but were gone (eaten, flew away?) the next morning. About 3 cm long as I recall Signature: Chuck McClaugherty Hi Chuck, Two years ago, entomologist Piotr Naskrecki helped us identify this Fulgorid Planthopper as Phrictus quinquepartitus. There is a lovely drawing of it on FlickR. Costa Rican tour company Taraba Tours calls it the Dragon Headed Bug.
Letter 17 – Fulgorid Planthopper from Bolivia is Amazon Roostertail
bolivia bug Location: Rurrenabaque, Bolivia January 29, 2012 10:25 pm This bug is from Rurrenabaque, Bolivia can you identify it please Signature: M Schwartz Dear M Schwartz, We identified your Fulgorid Planthopper as the Amazon Roostertail, Lystra lanata, on FlickR. The common name is listed as the Red Dotted Planthopper on Animal World where it states: “These interesting insects are members of the hemiptera or true bugs. They use their proboscis to penetrate their host plant/tree on which they are usually found to drink the sugary rich phloem. They excrete honeydew which is a sugary liquid stripped of the nutrients needed by the fulgorid but still of interest to other insects, chiefly ants. So, fulgorids (and many other hemipterans) can be found attended by many different species of ants which will actually cultivate, farm and defend their hosts. The white tails are actually made of wax. This strategy is possibly a ploy to fool birds and other predators who might mistake the extremely visible tails for the head. Found during a night hike in Iwokrama rainforest reserve, Guyana”. Hello Daniel Thank you very much for such prompt and helpful assistance! Chuck McClaugherty
Letter 18 – Possibly Planthopper from Singapore
Subject: Aphid-like insect Location: Singapore December 17, 2012 11:47 pm First of all I’d like to just say how fantastic a resource this is. I only found this site during the week and I’m trying to control myself sending through ID requests. The attached bug was found on a chest high hedgerow. He is approx 4mm in length from head to toe. He’s perfectly camouflaged on the leaf. He was sitting low on the leaf near the leaf stalk. I’m guessing he is an aphid of some sort but it’s a complete guess. Google has been no help. Maybe you guys have some idea? Signature: David Hi David, We believe this Free Living Hemipteran is some type of Planthopper, but we haven’t the time to research it at the moment. Two beautiful True Bugs from Himalayan Nepal are also awaiting identification and we have only reached H in the Christmas cards. P.S. Planthoppers are in the same order as Aphids. Good guess. Update: April 8, 2013 David provided us with an update and an identification of the Grainy Planthopper, Kallitaxila granulata, and we found a matching photo on PestNet.
Letter 19 – Possibly Issid Planthopper
Subject: Figured this one out yet? Location: Northern L.A. County, CA, USA July 6, 2013 12:05 pm Hi, Just wondered if you had a chance to check out this tiny bug yet ? Still curious, wanted to post it on a nature site but need to know a little about it first. Thank you, -Denise Signature: Denise Hi Denise, This is a Planthopper in the superfamily Fulgoridae and possibly the family Issidae. We feel it most resembles the members of the genus Thionia pictured on BugGuide. While we feel confident we are correct about the superfamily Fulgoridae, we would not hedge any bets on any more specific identification.
Letter 20 – Headless Mantis, NOT Planthopper found in Silverlake!!!
Subject: Stick or Mantis? Location: Silver Lake, Los Angeles October 20, 2013 1:13 am Hi Daniel, This is the funkiest bug I’ve ever seen in the Red Car Property neighborhood (Silver Lake) Los Angeles. A neighbor submitted it, his kid found it yesterday on their front walk. It’s a shaded , cooler temperature part of the neighborhood in a canyon with lots of trees. One of the neighbors has a lot of exotic plants, timber bamboo. Link to post: http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/2013/10/riverside-place-alien.html Photos: Jonathan Vandiveer Thanks! Signature: Diane E Hi Diane, This is neither a Mantis nor a Phasmid Stick Insect. We believe it is a Free Living Hemipteran, probably in the Planthopper superfamily Fulgoroidea, and we are nearly 100% certain it is a nonnative exotic. We are going to contact Eric Eaton to get his opinion. Meanwhile, our initial search of Fulgoroidea on BugGuide did not produce any matches. Native members of this superfamily are generally small, and the size of this individual is very significant. We wonder if the person who took the photo managed to capture the specimen. We suspect the Natural History Museum will be interested. We hope to get back to you with something more substantial very soon. Fulgorid Planthoppers, commonly called Lanternflies, are much larger and diverse in the tropics. We have some colorful examples from the family on our site, including the Longan Chicken from Hong Kong, an unidentified Lanternfly from Borneo and the Peanut Headed Bug from Central and South America, also known as the Machaca. With global travel ever increasing, we are finding more and more exotic species far from their native lands. I knew it was a weird one! Thanks Daniel. Jonathan, did you by any chance keep the “funky bug?” Pls see Daniel’s response & reply all. I’ll update the post later this AM. Diane Julian Donahue provides some input Looks like a Dictyopharidae planthopper. See http://bugguide.net/node/view/96 Julian Eric Eaton Provides a Correction: Headless Mantis This is actually a headless Chinese Mantis, probably a male ;-). It is also missing its front pair of legs. Eric Wow, thanks Eric. This one really had us fooled. The folks who submitted it never indicated it was dead. We wonder if he fell victim to an amorous encounter with a hungry mate.
Letter 21 – Planthopper from Singapore
Subject: Bug ID Location: Singapore February 5, 2014 11:12 pm Dear Sir, I would appreciate it if you could assist to identify this insect. It was shot in the western area of Singapore. Thank you very much in advance. Regards, Signature: Anthony Dear Anthony, This is a free living Hemipteran, probably a Planthopper, but we were unable to identify it quickly. We are posting your image and we will return to attempting an identification at a later time. Your image is strikingly graphic. Re: Planthopper from Singapore – February 12, 2014 Hi Daniel and Anthony: This is a Lophopid Planthopper (Family Lophopidae), probably in the genus Elasmoscelis. The species most commonly featured on the internet are E. perforata and E. platypoda (Siam Insect-Zoo & Museum – fourth row of images from the bottom), both of which look very similar. Other sites with similar images include this one on flickr and this one on Clubsnap, both of which appear to have used the Siam Insect-Zoo site to identify them as E. platypoda. Regards. Karl Thanks Karl, We were thinking of you after we posted this Planthopper and were unable to identify it. Dear Daniel, Thank you very much for helping to identify this bug. Appreicated! Have a pleasant weekend! Cheers! anthony February 26, 2014 Dear Daniel, Thank you very much for identifying the bug. You guys are really good. Cheers! anthony
Letter 22 – Planthopper from Suriname
Subject: What the heck is this thing?! Location: Suriname, South America (Amazon) March 21, 2014 6:15 am Hi, My name is Josh Lassiter and my father Terry sent me a picture of a bug that he saw in Suriname, South America. It is CRAZY and I would love to know what it is. Can you all help? Signature: Whatever is normal Hi Josh, This is a Fulgorid Planthopper in the genus Lystra. Pinterest identifies is as a Red Dotted Planthopper, Lystra lanata. According to PBase, it is also called a Waxy Tailed Planthopper. Birdspiders.com posits another species possibility, Lystra strigata, also called a Red Dotted Planthopper, and we would entertain the possibility that the two species might actually represent different taxonomic opinions about the same species. The waxy filaments on the posterior end are a secretion, presumably for protection. Thank you so much for your quick response! I really appreciate it.
Letter 23 – Derbid Planthopper from Thailand: Proutista moesta
Subject: Gray-blue Fly Location: Chiang Mai (northern Thailand). September 4, 2014 6:27 pm Hi, I saw this small fly (first thought was Drosophila) sitting on my orchids. The body is about 4 mm lang, the wings about 8 mm. Signature: Ricci Dear Ricci, We quickly identified your Derbid Planthopper as Proutista moesta thanks to the Foto Biodiversitas Indonesia website. Thank you Daniel, and it’s bad 😉 http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20033042539.html Hi again Ricci, The order Hemiptera, which includes Aphids and Scale Insects as well as many plant feeding True Bugs like Stink Bugs, has a large percentage of significant agricultural pests.
Letter 24 – Issid Planthopper
Subject: Winged Bug Location: Montecito, California August 7, 2015 4:12 pm We found this beautiful winged bug in our house in Montecito, California August 7, 2015. It is about 3/8″ long, and when we touched it, it kind of jumped with a small clicking noise. Signature: Derek Westen Dear Derek, Based on this BugGuide image, we believe we have correctly identified your Issid Planthopper as a member of the genus Naethus. BugGuide lists five members of the genus found in California, but does not provide much information. Though it has nothing to do with entomology or with the Planthopper, iNaturalist provides this etymological information on the origin of the genus name: “Neaethus was a river falling into what is now the Gulf of Taranto, where the ships of the Greeks were burned by the women of Troy whom they had led captive.”
Letter 25 – Long Winged Derbid Planthopper from India
Subject: Unknown Insect Location: 14.1667°N 75.0333°E March 23, 2016 1:59 am Hello Sir, I was on travel to Western Ghats of India and was able to capture a insect/bug in Macro mode, Tried with National Geographic, but they re-directed towards you. Just wanted to know the species of the insect. I have attached the picture for your reference. Below is the link to my Your Shot profile: http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/7951851/ Signature: Ravindra Kulkarni Dear Ravindra, This is a Long Winged Derbid Planthopper in the family Derbidae. SinoBug has some nice images of Chinese Derbid Planthoppers and Project Noah has a similar looking individual from New Guinea identified as Proutista moesta. CabDirect states: “The plant hopper Proutista moesta is an economically important sap-sucking insect of palms and is implicated as a common vector of root (wilt) disease of coconut, yellow leaf disease of arecanut and spear rot disease of oil palm in Kerala, India. The adults are sap-feeding, while its nymphs develop saprophytically by feeding on substrates undergoing fungal decomposition.” This FlickR image was taken in India.
Letter 26 – Planthopper laying eggs in Costa Rica
Subject: Costa Rica Bug Location: Limón Province, Costa Rica May 9, 2016 6:53 pm I watched this insect lay her eggs and then seal the nest with some sealant she excreted from her abdomen. I’ll include the three photo of her and her nest, her laying an egg, and her sealing up the chambers. Do you know what her name is? Signature: sarah Dear Sarah, We really love your images of a Planthopper in the family Fulgoridae laying eggs. We quickly identified her as Copidocephala guttata on FlickR, and then we found a similar egg laying image on Neotropical Arthropods. There is another nice image on Kunzweb Gallery. Many Planthoppers secrete a waxy substance, and we speculate that you witnessed that secretion. According to an online article entitled Trophobiosis between a Blattellid Cockroach (Macrophyllodromia spp.) and Fulgorids (Enchophora and Copidocephala spp.) in Costa Rica: “Copidocephala guttata (White) occurs in Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama (O’Brien 1988). Many fulgorids produce large amounts of waxes and in a few species these materials have been chemically analyzed. Their biological role is essentially unknown, except that ‘ … one of the apparent functions of these waxy, plume-like tails is protection against predators and parasites’ (Mason et al., 1989).” Oh, thanks so much for your reply. There were numerous Facebook people asking, and one of them reminded me of your site. I think I used you once before for a similar type of bug with that wild waxy adornment to her abdomen. Totally forgot that. I hope you will feel free to use my photos on your site for others to use for ID. Weren’t those amazing captures? And with an iPhone no less. The small things in life are the most amazing. Warm regards, Sarah Morgan Punta Uva, Limón, Costa Rica
Letter 27 – Fulgorid Planthopper from South Sudan
Subject: Sudan Africa bug Location: South Sudan May 16, 2016 9:47 am Hi bugman – We are trying to identify this bug. It was found last week in Werkok Sudan. Werkok is in South Sudan close to Bor. It is approximately 1.5″ long. Signature: PCC Dear PCC, This is a Planthopper in the family Fulgoridae, sometimes called Lanternflies. Your individual looks similar to this individual from Malawi posted to Beetles of Africa.
Letter 28 – Derbid Planthopper from Singapore
Subject: New Species of Bug? Location: Chestnut Visitor Center, Singapore December 1, 2016 2:16 am To Whom It May Concern, Can you pls. identify this bug, I found it at Chestnut Visitor Center at Singapore. It looks like it is a newly evolved specie. Many Thanks in advance! Signature: Kasmotski69 Dear Kasmotski69, This really is a crazy looking insect. We feel confident it is in the order Hemiptera and probably the superfamily Fulgoroidea, the Planthoppers. It reminds us of the Derbid Planthoppers in the family Derbidae that are pictured on BugGuide, a site devoted to North American species. We suspect this will take more time to research than we have at this moment. We found this FlickR posting that supports our supposition. We will attempt to identify the species later in the day. Wow thanks a lot guys!
Letter 29 – Derbid Planthopper
Subject: What bugs are these? Location: Cairns, QLD, Australia December 3, 2016 7:11 am Found these in my yard. Signature: CE Dear CE, We will be more than happy to attempt to identify the six insects you submitted using a single submission form and with very little information regarding details of the individual images, but we will be doing so at a future date. In the future, please use our standard submission form available at Ask What’s That Bug? link on our website. The kinds of things we would love to know about each submission: time of year imaged, time of day imaged, weather conditions at the time of the sighting, plant upon which the insect was found, and anything else you think our readers may want to know and which may help us in the identification. We will be leaving town for the holidays and we will be postdating submissions to go live at that time. We will wait to post your other five insects, posted individually at the end of the year. Your first image if of a Derbid Planthopper, and its physical resemblance, though not its coloration or markings, greatly resemble this Derbid Planthopper we recently posted from Singapore. We will attempt to identify your Derbid Planthopper to the species or at least genus level. Derbid Planthoppers suck fluids from plants and some species may represent agricultural threats.
Letter 30 – Tropiduchid Planthopper
Subject: Small brown bug with holey wings Location: Arizona July 10, 2017 1:09 am Can you please tell me the name of this bug I found in my bed during monsoon season July in central mountains of Arizona. Signature: Hannah Dear Hannah, We believe we have correctly identified your Planthopper as a Tropiduchid Planthopper in the genus Neaethus thanks to this BugGuide image. Planthoppers are plant feeding creatures and we believe it was accidentally introduced into your home.
Letter 31 – Issid Planthopper
Subject: Identification Location: Santa Barbara CA August 2, 2017 6:55 am Hi, This little chap was on the side of my computer for most of the day. He was about 3-5 mm and sandy brown in color with some darker spots. His eyes look a bit like a chameleon’s eyes. I live in Santa Barbara CA, right near the beach. It is August right now and the temp has been around 75 degrees fahrenheit. I have never seen anything like it before and can find nothing similar online. Signature: Michael Dear Michael, This is a Planthopper in the family Issidae, the Issid Planthoppers. We are relatively confident it is the Upright-Winged Hopper, Dictyobia permutata, which is pictured on the Natural History of Orange County site. Other members of the genus that look very similar are pictured on BugGuide.
Letter 32 – Unknown Planthopper from Guatemala
Subject: Please ID Geographic location of the bug: Guatemala Date: 06/19/2019 Time: 01:44 PM EDT Your letter to the bugman: My cousin sent me a picture of an insect she found and didn’t know what it was. How you want your letter signed: Moises Dear Moises, We believe these are Planthoppers in the family Fulgoridae, and though they bear a superficial resemblance to the invasive Spotted Lanternflies, they do not look like the same species. We have not been able to find any visual matches online, so we cannot provide you with a species name. Perhaps one of our readers will have more luck than we have had at an identification.
Letter 33 – Planthopper from South Africa is Mottled Avocado Bug
Subject: Please help … I can’t find what insect this is Geographic location of the bug: South-Africa Gauteng Date: 02/22/2020 Time: 08:10 AM EDT Your letter to the bugman: Please help. I found this bug … I don’t know if its a moth or butterfly or anything else. It started to lay eggs in the Jar I put her in. Green with white and black spots with a red body and a white tail were the eggs are coming out. It walks backwards and sidewards. How you want your letter signed: K.Krugel Dear K.Krugel, This is neither a butterfly nor a moth. It is a Planthopper. We found it pictured but not identified on iStock Getty Photo. We then located an image in our archives that we identified as the Mottled Avocado Bug, Parapioxys jucundus. Here is a FlickR image. It is described in the Field Guide to Insects of South Africa as: “a probable lichen-mimic, has a very broad head, and is vividly coloured, with emerald green fore wings with concentrations of white spots and blotches, overlaid with black spots.”