Scolypopa australis (Walker)

Passionvine hopper


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.

Scolypopa australis (Walker 1851)

Common Name: Passionvine hopper

Family: Ricaniidae

Distribution: Native to Australia (NSW, Lord Howe Is., Qld, Vic, Tas, WA), the passionvine hopper has also been introduced to New Zealand. Its presence in Fiji, as reported by Kirkaldy (1906), has not been confirmed.

Economic Status: In sheltered places, populations of passionvine hoppers can build up into very high numbers producing large quantities of honeydew which coat the stems and leaves of the bushes on which it feeds. This encourages the growth of sooty moulds which can reduce photsynthesis and damage the appearance of fruit. It has been accidentally introduced into New Zealand where it is regarded as a serious pest of kiwifruit plantations because of the sooty moulds.

Notes: The passionvine hopper is one of the most familiar planthoppers in eastern Australia. The species has also been introduced into Fiji. It has a wide host range on both native and exotic plants in Australia. Details of the life stages were provided by Fletcher (1979b) and on egglaying behaviour by Fletcher (1979a).

Image: Murray Fletcher