Sogatella spp


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.

Sogatella furcifera (Horváth, 1899)
Sogatella kolophon (Kirkaldy, 1907)
Sogatella vibix (Haupt, 1927)

Common Name: White-backed planthopper, rice planthopper (Sogatella furcifera)

Subfamily/Tribe: Delphacinae: Delphacini

Distribution: All three species of Sogatella treated here are present in Australia. Sogatella furcifera is found in Qld, NT, throughout Asia, the Middle-east and Central America (Bourgoin 2018; Bellis unpublished data). Sogatella kolophon is present in Qld, NSW, Vic, NT and throughout tropical to temperate regions in North and South America, Africa and Asia (Bourgoin 2018; Bellis et al. 2013; Bellis unpublished data). Sogatella vibix is recorded throughout Asia, Europe, northern Africa and in NT, WA, Qld and NSW including Lord Howe Island (Bourgoin 2018; Bellis unpublished data).

Economic Status: Sogatella spp. are primarily associated with grasses. Sogatella furcifera is a significant pest of rice, but is also known to damage maize; Sogatella vibix is a pest of rice, maize and wheat; S. kolophon has been recorded on rice, coconut palms, barley, wheat, carrots and maize (Greber 1982; Wilson & Claridge 1991; Bartlett 2018). Sogatella furcifera and S. kolophon are vectors of Pangola stunting virus, which affects grasses used for pasture and hay, and is present in Australia (Bisessar 1966). Sogatella furcifera is the only known vector of Southern Rice Black Streak Dwarf Virus, a virus that devastates rice fields, but which is not found in Australia (Zhou et al. 2013).  Sogatella kolophon is a vector of Brazilian wheat spike Tenuivirus (absent from Australia – Plant health Australia 2014), Digitaria striate cytorhabdovirus (present in Australia), and Maize sterile stunt virus (present in Australia).  Sogatella vibex is a vector of Finger millet mosaic virus (absent from Australia), Maize rough dwarf virus (absent from Australia – Plant health Australia 2014) and Maize sterile stunt virus (present in Australia) (Wilson 2005; Bartlett 2018).

Notes: Sogatella is represented in Australia by the three species considered here. There are 15 species globally (Bartlett 2018). Despite the distinctive white dorsal stripe on all species in the genus (after which the common name derives), there are a number of native and exotic genera with a similar stripe that could be confused with Sogatella (e.g., Tagosodes, Tarophagus, Muellerianella, Peregrinus, etc).

Sogatella furcifera (Horváth, 1899)