Bondi Junction NSW, Australia
Fact Sheets
Rice white-backed planthopper (423)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds


  • 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.
  • Natural enemies: rice bug, Cyrtorhinus lividipennis (see Fact Sheet no. 419).
  • 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.

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