Nilaparvata lugens

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Nilaparvata lugens adult (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Sylvia Villareal - IRRI
Source: Flickr

Nilaparvata lugens (Stål, 1854) - (brown planthopper)

The planthopper is a major pest of rice in eastern Asia which sucks the phloem sap from rice plants, causing yellowing and growth reduction. Larger infestations lead to wilting and death of the plants (“hopper burn”). Yield losses often exceed 20% and even complete crop failure is possible. Outbreaks have become more frequent during the last decades, sometimes with millions of hectares infested each year. The leafhopper is also important as a vector of several virus diseases of rice like Rice ragged stunt virus and Rice grassy stunt virus.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Braunrückige Reiszikade
• English: brown planthopper
• Français: cicadelle brune

After invading a newly planted rice field the insect goes through several sessile generations, producing short-winged adults before long-winged (macropterous) adults develop for migration. Short-distance as well as long-distance migration of up to 1000 km has been recorded.

Resistant rice cultivars and pesticides are used for control. However, break-down of resistance in rice varieties as well as the development of pesticide-resistance planthoppers have been problems. Populations can resurge after the application of pesticides and the factors contributing to this phenomenon are not yet well understood.

The macropterous adult is about 4 mm long. The colour is brown with three longitudinal lighter stripes on the pronotum. The development from egg, through 5 nymphal stages, to mature adult lasts about 1 month.