Mango leafhoppers are known to be present in Queensland in Cape York Peninsula, Dimbulah, Mareeba and Mutchilba. They are considered to be established and widespread.
Figure 1: Mango leafhopper adult (top) and nymph
Figure 2: Black sooty mould and flower damage
Mango leafhoppers (Idioscopus nitidulus and Idioscopus clypealis) are small, cicada-like, plant-sucking pests of mango.
Mango leafhoppers can cause serious damage by feeding on flowers and leaves, reducing fruit set and production.
Mango leafhoppers have been detected in Far North Queensland (Cape York Peninsula), and in a number of towns in the Tablelands and Cairns Regional Shire areas (Dimbulah, Mareeba, Mutchilba). They are considered to be established and widespread. As such, there are no active controls in place for the pests.
Idioscopus nitidulus and Idioscopus clypealis
|What it looks like|
Mango leafhoppers are small (4-5mm long) insects with a body shape similar to a cicada. Adults have a greenish-brown body with pale yellow on top of the head. Nymphs are yellowish-brown with two small red eyes.
The pest usually occurs in high numbers on mango flowers during the spring and on leaves during the summer. When disturbed, the adults jump off the plant with a clicking sound, make a short flight and settle back on the plant. The nymphs cannot fly but move rapidly on the plant.
|Where it occurs|
Mango leafhopper is thought to have originated in India where it occurs in all mango growing regions, but is now widespread in South East Asia. It is currently found in the Torres Strait, Northern Territory (Darwin, Katherine, Pine Creek, Tipperary), and Queensland. In Queensland, they have been detected in several locations on northern Cape York Peninsula including Weipa, Napranum and Aurukun, as well as Dimbulah, Mareeba and Mutchilba. Idioscopus nitidulus is present only in the Cape York Peninsula, while Idioscopus clypealis is present in Cape York and Mareeba, south to Atherton and along the coast from Wangetti to Gordonvale.
Leafhoppers are sap suckers. Their feeding and egg-laying in flowers causes physical injury and serious impairment of fruit development. They also secrete a sticky shiny liquid known as honeydew on which black sooty mould grows. Sooty mould interferes with photosynthesis in the leaves, reducing yield. Sooty mould can also be caused by other commonly occurring pests such as pink wax scale and mango flatid.
Overseas, crop losses from this pest have been up to 50%. Where the pest occurs in commercial orchards, chemical treatments are often required to produce good mango crops.
In Australia, sprays applied for other pests may also be effective against mango leafhopper. Natural enemies to the pest occur in India, but have not been found in Australia.
There are no quarantine restrictions in place for mango leafhopper, as they are considered to be established and widespread in Queensland.