Lantana Bug








Aconophora compressa

Lantana treehopper


This bug is a member of treehopper family and are related to cicadas and leafhoppers. The adult is pale brown with a distinct projection on the front of its head and looks like a thorn when stationary on a stem. The nymphs are striped with spikes sticking out of their bodies.

Adult size: 6-8 mm

Out and about

They prefer dry, cool conditions and open areas. Numbers build up in winter, reducing as the temperatures get higher.This bug is native to Mexico, Central America and Colombia. It was released in Australia in 1995 as a biological control of the lantana weed.

Reproduction and Life cycle

The female lays her eggs on the stems of plants and will guard them from predators until they hatch. It takes about 45 days to progress through 5 instars to adult .Their lifecycle from egg to adult is about six weeks. The adults live for about 6 months.

To deter

To control

At this time I think they are still being monitored to assess whether they are causing problems on other plants. If they are found on other plants, Pyrethrum would be worth a try.

Plants to repel

Plants to attract


Why they are Neutral
Both adults and nymphs are sap-suckers, tending to gather in large numbers. They cause leaves to drop, the stems die back and the plant stops flowering and seeding. In the case of lantana, it halts the spreading of the plants. There is a debate about these bugs becoming a problem if they transfer to related plants. Duranta (particularly Duranta Geisha Girl) and fiddlewood may be affected by their introduction. These trees could die if the bugs are not treated. In a trial study in South Africa they preferred lemon verbena to the lantana. Since being introduced their population has steadily increased. They secrete honeydew which will cause sooty mould.