Biosecurity threat, not present in Australia

Laodelphax striatellus

Small brown planthopper


Many of the insects depicted on these pages are outwardly similar and you should not use photographs as the sole means of identification. These pages form part of a scientific key which will assist a trained entomologist to identify the species accurately.

Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén, 1826) 

Common Name: Small brown planthopper

Subfamily/Tribe: Delphacinae: Delphacini

Distribution: Laodelphax striatellus is widespread in northern Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania (Papua New Guinea, Micronesia and Northern Mariana Islands) but is absent from Australia. Countries are listed by CABI (2014), except the recent PNG record by Bellis et al. (2013).

Economic Status: Laodelphax striatellus is one of the most destructive delphacid pests and was included on the Plant Health Australia (2015) contingency plan for exotic sap-sucking insects of grains. It is polyphagous on many different species of Poaceae (grasses), with economically important host plants including wheat, barley, oats, rice and corn. Direct damage caused by L. striatellus includes outbreaks of sooty mould when populations reach high density, (for a summary of damage see Plantwise 2018). Additionally, L. striatellus is capable of transmitting six plant viruses which are not present in Australia: Barley yellow striate mosaic virus , Northern cereal mosaic virus, Rice black-streaked dwarf virus, Rice stripe tenuivirus, Wheat chlorotic streak virus and Maize rough dwarf virus (Toriyama 1986; Plant Health Australia 2014; Bartlett 2018).

Notes:  There are two species of Laodelphax globally, but only L. striatellus is of economic concern (Bartlett 2018). No species of Laodelphax are present in Australia. Laodelphax striatellus has no exceptional distinguishing characteristics, and identifications must be confirmed by examination of male genitalia.

Laodelphax striatellus [image: C.R. Bartlett, used with permission]