Family Cixiidae

Cixiid planthoppers


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.

Common Name: Cixiid planthoppers

Economic Status: A number of species of cixiid planthoppers are known vectors of serious plant diseases. Many of these are distributed well distant from the Australian region and do not pose a serious threat to Australia at this stage. These include Hyalesthes obsoletus Signoret, the vector of Vergilbungskrankheit of grapevine in Germany and Bois Noir in France; Penstastiridius beieri (Wagner), reported as the vector of “basses richesses" of sugarbeet in Europe (Gatineau et al. 2002) although (Bressan et al. 2009) determined the species involved was P. leporinus (L.); Haplaxius crudus (Van Duzee)(=Myndus crudus), the vector of Lethal Yellowing of palms in the Caribbean region and Cixius wagneri China, the vector of Strawberry marginal chlorosis in France.

The three species below are known vectors of plant diseases in the Australasian/Pacific regions. None has been recorded in Australia but they pose a biosecurity threat to Australian agriculture: Colvanalia taffini transmits Foliar decay of coconuts in Vanuatu and, in New Zealand, Zeoliarus atkinsoni (Myers) transmits Phormium yellows disease of flax while the polyphagous Z. oppositus (Walker) is a vector of Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense in both Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae) and Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae) (Winks, et al. 2014).

Notes: The Australian cixiid fauna has been extensively studied in recent years by Birgit Löcker (See for references)

(click on the images for further information about each species)


*Colvanalia taffini (Bonfils)


*Hyalesthes obsoletus Signoret


*Zeoliarus atkinsoni (Myers)


*Zeoliarus oppositus (Walker)