Green planthopper








Siphanta acuta

Called a “torpedo bug” in some countries


This planthopper is bright green with triangular shaped wings which makes them look like leaves. There are lighter green dots running along the wings with small red dots along the curves of the wings at the back and the top. They have pink eyes. They will jump when disturbed with the nymphs being able to hop as far as 60 cm. The nymphs are wingless. Early instars are light in colour and the head and thorax form a flattened triangular shape with with waxy filaments protruding from the abdomen. . Later instars take on a green colouring, lose the filaments and acquire wing buds.They tend to sway from side to side when walking or standing.

Adult size: 15mm

Out and about

Most numerous during summer but are around all year. They are native to Australia and like tropical to temperate climates but they are also found in cooler Tasmania and New Zealand, as well as Asia, Africa, Hawaii and North America.

Reproduction and Life cycle

Tiny eggs (1.2mm long) are laid in masses of up to 100 eggs on the leaves and stems of plants. The oval-shaped cluster of eggs are laid so that they form a dome shape with eggs in the centre more upright and the outer eggs flatter. They will hatch after 10 to 12 days. There are five stages the nymphs go through with varying colour changes as they moult. The lifespan of the adult is about two months.

To deter

To control

- Spray with neem - Spray with pyrethrum - Diatomaceous earth - Keep weeds down to reduce breeding areas - They like warm dry conditions so keep water up to plants

Plants to repel

Plants to attract


Lady beetles – the steel blue lady beetle will eat their eggs / Lacewings / Minute pirate bug/ parasitising wasps
Why they are a Pest
Both adults and nymphs are plant suckers, sometimes transferring plant diseases. It is considered a pest of a wide range of crops including banana, citrus, coffee, guava, macadamia and a variety of ornamental plants. Like aphids, mealybugs and scale they produce honey dew which in turn leads to sooty mould.