Biosecurity threat, not present in Australia

Zophiuma butawengi

Palm 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.

Zophiuma butawengi (Heller, 1966) (=Zophiuma lobulata Ghauri, 1966)

Common Name: Palm planthopper

Family: Lophopidae

Distribution: New Guinea.

Hosts: Oil palm, coconut palm and betel nut (all Arecaceae) (Ghauri 1967).

Economic Status: This is the species which causes Finschhafen Disorder in coconut and oil palm in New Guinea. Gitau et al. (2010) demonstrated that a pathogen was not involved in the disorder which was entirely due to the feeding impact of large numbers of Z. butawengi, particularly nymphs.

Notes: This is one of three species of the genus, all confined to New Guinea. The genus was reviewed by Gitau et al. (2011). Zophiuma butawengi is of minor concern to Australia since it is a tropical species damaging a crop which does not have major significance in Australia.



Images: Murray J. Fletcher, Orange Agricultural Institute