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.
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.