*Biosecurity threat, not present in Australia



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.

Nilaparvata bakeri (Muir, 1917)
Nilaparvata lugens
(Stål, 1854)
*Nilaparvata muiri China, 1925 

Common Name: The brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens)

Subfamily/Tribe: Delphacinae: Delphacini

Distribution: The following distributions are based on Bellis (unpublished data), Bellis et al. (2013) and Bartlett (2018). Nilaparvata bakeri is present in Australia (NT, Qld), Taiwan, China, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Japan. Nilaparvata muiri is predominantly in East Asia, being found in South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Nilaparvata lugens is the most widespread of the three species, being found in Australia (Qld, NSW, WA, NT), PNG, Indonesia, Fiji, Philippines, India, China, Malaysia, Guam, Taiwan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Caroline Islands, Japan Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. 

Economic Status: All three Nilaparvata species considered here feed on grasses, with the most economically important host being rice. Nilaparvata lugens is also considered a pest on sugarcane. Nilaparvata lugens is one of the most important and well-known delphacid pests, reaching very high densities on rice and the ability to devastate an entire season’s crop (Huang et al. 2015). Damage known as ‘hopperburn’ is produced directly by N. lugens (Plantwise 2018) and it is a vector of Rice Grassy Stunt Virus and Rice Ragged Stunt Virus (Wilson 2005). Both of these viruses are absent from Australia (Plant Health Australia 2018). Furthermore, N. lugens is capable of long distance dispersal of several hundred kilometres (Denno et al. 1991). The two other species of Nilaparvata are not considered as detrimental to rice, although N. bakeri is a vector of Rice Grassy Stunt Virus and Rice Ragged Stunt Virus, and N. muiri is a vector of Rice Grassy Stunt Virus (Wilson 2005).

Notes:  Of the three species considered here, only N. muiri is not present in Australia. There are 19 species globally, with four species present in Australia (Fletcher 2002 + updates; Bartlett 2018). Nilaparvata is easily distinguished from other delphacid genera by the row of teeth or small spines laterally on the first tarsal segment of the hind leg.  Species distinction is not as easily achieved, and male genitalia must be examined.


Nilaparvata lugens (Stål)