See leafhopper and treehopper as they are similar


Planthoppers hold their wings vertically like a tent over their bodies and this make them look like leaves. The common green planthopper (Siphanta acuta) has pink eyes and triangular shaped wings folded over its body. The nymphs are wingless. Their head and thorax form a flattened triangular shape with the abdomen looking like a tail out of which protrudes bristles that can be quite long. They tend to sway from side to side when walking or standing. They are extremely good jumpers and also produce honey dew. There are other species which look the same but have a different colouring, for example, the mango planthopper (Colgaroides acuminate) is almost white.

Adult size: 15 mm

Out and about

Most numerous in summer. They are widespread throughout subtropical and cooler regions worldwide. There are many species native to Australia. New Zealand has three species originally from Australia.

Reproduction and Life cycle

The female lays a group of eggs of one hundred or more in a dome formation with the eggs in the middle standing upright and the outer ones leaning on their sides. This egg cluster has a waxy coating over it. The nymphs go through 5 stages before becoming an adult. The adult lifespan is approximately 2 months.

To deter

- They like warm dry conditions so keep water up to plants

To control

- Spray with neem - Spray with pyrethrum - Diatomaceous earth - Keep weeds down to reduce breeding areas

Plants to repel

Plants to attract


Lady beetles / Lacewings / Minute pirate bug
Why they are a Pest
Both adults and nymphs are plant suckers, and can be a problem if present in great numbers. They inject toxins which kill the plant cells and they can also transmit diseases from plant to plant. They also produce honey dew which causes sooty mould on the leaves.