Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Idioscopus nitidulus
(mango leafhopper)



Idioscopus nitidulus (mango leafhopper)


  • Last modified
  • 12 December 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Idioscopus nitidulus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • mango leafhopper
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Idioscopus nitidulus (Walker)

Preferred Common Name

  • mango leafhopper

Other Scientific Names

  • Chunra niveosparsa (Lethierry)
  • Chunra niveosparsus (Lethierry)
  • Chunrocerus niveosparsus (Lethierry)
  • Idiocerus nitidulus Walker
  • Idiocerus niveosparsus (Lethierry)
  • Idioscopus freytagi Ahmed, Naheed & Ahmed
  • Idioscopus karachiensis Ahmed, Naheed & Ahmed
  • Idioscopus niveosparsus (Lethierry)

International Common Names

  • English: brown mango leafhopper

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Mango-Zikade

EPPO code

  • IDIONI (Chunrocerus niveosparsus)
  • IDIONT (Idiocerus nitidulus)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Cicadelloidea
  •                                 Family: Cicadellidae
  •                                     Genus: Idioscopus
  •                                         Species: Idioscopus nitidulus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Viraktamath (1989), quoting Maldonado Capriles (1973), suggested that I. nitidulus might prove to be a senior synonym of I. niveosparsus. The latter author considered that if the synonymy was proven then the name niveosparsus should be conserved. However, the name nitidulus has subsequently been used e.g. Fasih and Srivastava (1990) and in 2002 the two species were formally synonymised, with I. nitidulus as the senior name (Fletcher and Dangerfield, 2002).


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Leafhoppers of the subfamily Idiocerinae are characterized by a broad, rounded head, extending little between the eyes, and a general 'wedge' shape. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive taxonomic treatment available to separate all the mango-associated species.

I. nitidulus has been illustrated by Maldonado Capriles (1964) and Hongsaprug (1993). The vertex has brownish suffusions on each side of a central line; the posterior margin and laterally before the eyes are yellowish. The face is with two discal brown spots. The ocellus is inside a round, yellow spot; another spot of the same size and colour is adjacent to this spot. The pronotum is dull pale green with irregular, brownish and yellowish spots and markings. The scutellum is pale ochraceous with three basal blackish or dark-brown spots. The forewing is bronzed and subhyaline, veins are brownish, and the costal area is straw coloured. There are white markings on the forewing near the humeral angle, at the claval cells and on the veins.


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Viraktamath (1989) and Waterhouse (1993) state that I. nitidulus is found in a range of countries in south eastern Asia from Pakistan in the west to Taiwan and southern China in the east and in the Pacific from the Philippines to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Specimens from New Guinea are in the BMNH collection and it was first discovered on Australian territory on islands in the Torres Strait (Queensland) in 1986, spreading (probably by flight and being wind-borne) to the mainland, Northern Territories and north Queensland, in 1997 (Fletcher and Dangerfield, 2002).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Hosts/Species Affected

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According to Sohi and Sohi (1990), I. nitidulus has been recorded on other hosts such as Citrus species, Calophyllum species and Manilkara zapota, but it is not clear if it will breed on any plants other than mango.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeMain

Growth Stages

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Nymphs and adults of Idioscopus species suck phloem sap from the inflorescences and leaves. The affected florets turn brown and dry up, and fruit setting is affected. Other effects of feeding are caused by the bugs excreta (honeydew) on which sooty mould develops, affecting photosynthesis. Some damage may also occur through egg laying into the leaves and flower stems.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Inflorescence / external feeding
Leaves / abnormal forms
Leaves / external feeding

Biology and Ecology

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The biology of mango leafhoppers has been reviewed by Viraktamath (1989) and Sohi and Sohi (1990). I. nitidulus breeds on the new flush of leaves and on the inflorescence, whereas the similar I. clypealis breeds on the inflorescence (Hiremath and Thontadarya, 1991). Adults are found throughout the year, and the population increases with the flowering of mango trees. Eggs are laid singly in the florets, leaf veins and leaf lamina, and between 100 and 200 eggs may be laid. The number of generations in a year varies in different geographical regions depending on the flowering and production of new leaves. I. nitidulus has one generation per year in northern India but three generations per year in southern India (Viraktamath, 1989). It has also been reported that environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and rainfall are important in regulating the population of mango leafhoppers (Tandon et al., 1983).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen
Centrodora idiocera Parasite Eggs
Fulgoraecia fuliginosa Parasite Adults
Halictophagus indicus Parasite Adults
Monochilus sexmaculatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Oligosita idioceri Parasite Eggs
Pipunculus annulifemur Parasite Adults

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Dalvi et al. (1992) found 11 species of spider (Araneae) and the coccinellid Monochilus sexmaculatus to be predators of nymphs and adults of I. nitidulus in India. They also reported that last-instar nymphs of I. nitidulus were parasitized by an unidentified species of dryinid wasp. Sohi and Sohi (1990) also noted natural enemies of I. nitidulus in India. Fasih and Srivastava (1990) recorded species attacking insect pests of mangoes following surveys conducted in Uttar Pradesh, India. They recorded six species of predator, including the chrysopids Chrysopa lacciperda [Odontochrysa lacciperda] and Mallada boninensis, preying on nymphs of I. nitidulus. The same authors listed the eulophid Aprostocetus spp. and the mymarids Gonatocerus spp. and Polynema spp. parasitizing eggs of I. nitidulus.

A survey in Taiwan by Chou and Chou (1990) of the natural enemies of I. nitidulus identified five hymenopterous parasitoids of eggs (Gonatocerus spp., Erythmelus spp., Mirufens spp., Tetrastichus spp. and Centrodora idiocera); of these Gonatocerus spp. had the highest average rate of parasitism at 78.6%.

Beauveria bassiana has been found to infect I. nitidulus (Tripathi et al., 1990).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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I. nitidulus has probably been dispersed by flight and being wind-borne.

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx adults; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Leaves adults; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches adults; eggs; nymphs Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
Growing medium accompanying plants
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
True seeds (inc. grain)

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark

Impact Summary

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Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) None
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health None
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native flora None
Rare/protected species None
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None


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According to Viraktamath (1989), 14 idiocerine species in three genera (Amritodus, Busoniomimus and Idioscopus) breed on mango, and of these only six are of economic importance. Mango leafhoppers are major pests in the Indian subcontinent. The major damage caused is at the flowering stage and several studies have highlighted the reduction of yield which may be between 20 and 100% depending on population size. Verghese and Rao (1987) examined the critical infestation stages of the related species I. clypealis in Uttar Pradesh, India. The mean density of cicadellids was 0.54-20.64 per panicle in 1983 and 0-6.03 per panicle in 1984. In both years, the peak population occurred when the fruit was pea sized. At the post-bloom stage a population of two adults per panicle was sufficient to cause yield reduction. It is suggested that the critical infestation stages are at post-bloom, when the fruit is marble sized, and 1 month before harvest, with corresponding critical population levels of two adults, 6-21 nymphs and 4-11 hoppers per panicle. In the Philippines, Corey et al. (1989) found that the economic injury levels for I. clypealis on two croppings of mangoes averaged 4.21, 4.30, 4.45 and 4.55 adults per panicle at 2, 10, 18 and 26 days, respectively, after flower bud break for the first cropping, and 4.79, 4.88, 5.06 and 5.18 adults per panicle for the second cropping.

Detection and Inspection

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Detailed examination of the flower panicles is needed to determine the population size for damage assessment and control studies. Verghese et al. (1985) developed a sequential sampling plan for classifying infestation of the related I. clypealis into light, moderate and severe on the basis of sample counts. Negative binomial distributions for nymphs and adults were fitted. Operating characteristic values, giving the probability of reaching a correct decision for a range of population means for both adults and nymphs, together with average sample number values, were used to predict the average number of trees to be sampled under different sequential plans. Studies by Tandon et al. (1989) on the spatial distribution of nymphs of I. nitidulus on mango trees in Karnataka, India, to determine a sampling plan for the pest showed that nymphs were aggregated on the mango panicles. Their distribution was best explained by Iwao's patchiness regression which showed that mean colony size was fixed and that colonies followed a negative binomial series. The optimum sample size recommended was 59 panicles per tree for damage assessment and control studies, and 98 panicles per tree for ecological studies when greater precision was required. Tandon et al. (1989) found no significant differences in the distribution of nymphs between the north, south, east or west portions of the tree or between the upper and lower canopies, indicating that sampling can be conducted from any point on the tree.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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I. nitidulus differs from the similar I. clypealis in being larger, lacking the black spots on the upper margin of the face of the latter and in having long setae on the subgenital plates (absent in I. clypealis).

Prevention and Control

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Biological Control

To date there have been few studies where biological control has been attempted against mango leafhoppers, despite the existence of parasitoids (see Natural Enemies).

Host-Plant Resistance

Presumably because of the time needed to grow mango trees large enough to test, there have been relatively few studies devoted to varieties resistant to attack by mango leafhoppers. Murthi and Abrahim (1983) investigated 12 mango varieties for population fluctuations of the hoppers during preflowering and postflowering periods by means of monthly sweeps of trees of uniform age. Progeny production by I. nitidulus on floral branches was positively associated with the nitrogen content of the branches.

Chemical Control

Almost the entire range of insecticides has been used in attempts to control mango leafhoppers over the past 100 years. These have been well reviewed by Sohi and Sohi (1990). They range from the use of inorganic insecticides such as sulphur to petroleum oils, fish-oil soap and rotenone. More recently, organophosphates, carbamates and synthetic pyrethroids have been used. Amongst these the synthetic pyrethroids cypermethrin and fenvalerate are considered most effective. Hiremath and Hugar (1989) reported the results of the injection of dimethoate into tree stems to control I. nitidulus; all treatments gave at least 90% control for up to 8 weeks. Economic thresholds are frequently used to determine when to apply insecticide. For further information on chemical control of I. nitidulus, see Godase et al. (2004), Rahman and Gajendra Singh (2004), Sushil Kumar et al. (2005) and Sahoo and Samanta (2006).


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Chou KC, Chou LY, 1990. Survey of the natural enemies of mango leaf-hoppers in Taiwan. Journal of Agricultural Research of China, 39(1):70-75

Corey FM Jr, Cadpan EP, Sanchez FF, 1989. Economic injury levels of the leafhopper Idioscopus clypealis (Leth.) on mango (Mangifera indica (L.)). Philippine Entomologist, 7(6):551-556

Dalvi CS, Dumbre RB, Khanvilkar VG, 1992. Natural enemies of mango hoppers. Journal of Maharashtra Agricultural Universities, 17(3):514-515

Fasih M, Srivastava RP, 1990. Parasites and predators of insect pests of mango. International Pest Control, 32(2):39-41

Fletcher MJ, Dangerfield PC, 2002. Idioscopus clypealis (Lethierry), a second new leafhopper pest of mango in Australia (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Idiocerinae). Australian Journal of Entomology, 41(1):35-38; 7 ref

Gnaneswaran, R., Hemachandra, K. S., Viraktamath, C. A., Ahangama, D., Wijayagunasekara, H. N. P., Wahundeniya, I., 2007. Idioscopus nagpurensis (Pruthi) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Idiocerinae): a new member of mango leafhopper complex in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research, 19, 78-90.

Godase SK, Bhole SR, Shivpuje PR, Patil BP, 2004. Assessment of yield loss in mango (Mangifera indica) due to mango hopper (Idioscopus niveosparsus) (Homoptera: Cicadelidae). Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 74(7):370-372

Hiremath SC, Hugar P, 1989. Effects of injecting systemic insecticides into mango during off season on the mango hopper population. Madras Agricultural Journal, 76(11):638-640

Hiremath SC, Thontadarya TS, 1991. Biology of mango leafhoppers (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in Dharwad region of Karnataka. Karnataka Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 4(3-4):156-161

Hongsaprug W, 1993. The occurrence and taxonomy of mango leafhoppers in Thailand. Thai Agricultural research Journal, 10(2):108-120

Imran Khatri, Webb MD, 2014. Review of the idiocerine leafhoppers of Pakistan (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae) with a description of a new species. Zootaxa, 3860(3):280-290.

Kannan M, Rao NV, 2006. Influence of age and stage of the host plant on insect pests of mango (Mangifera indica L.). International Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 2(2):351-353

Khaire VA, Kolhe DS, Patil JD, 1987. Relative susceptibility of mango varieties to mango hoppers and powdery mildew. Haryana Journal of Horticultural Sciences, 16(3-4):214-217

Kumar D, Roy CS, Khan ZR, Yazdani SS, Hameed SF, Mahmood M, 1983. An entomogenous fungi Isaria tax parasitizing mango hopper Idioscopus clypealis. Science and Culture, 49(8):253-254

Maldonado Capriles J, 1964. Studies on Idiocerine leafhoppers: II. The Indian and philippine species of Idiocerus and the genus Idioscopus. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 66(2):89-100

Maldonado Capriles J, 1985. Studies on idiocerine leafhoppers. XXI. Color variations of Idioscopus clypealis (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). International Journal of Entomology, 27(3):277-279

Maldonado-Capriles J, 1973. Studies on Idiocerinae leafhoppers: X. Idioscopus nitidulus (Walker), new combination (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 75(2):179-181

Murthi BN, Abraham CC, Narasimha Murthi B, 1983. Susceptibility of mango varieties to infestation by Idiocerine hoppers (Idiocerine: Jassidae: Homoptera). National seminar on breeding crop plants for resistance to pests and diseases. May 25-27 1983. Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. 1983?, 46-47. Coimbatore, India: Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, 46-47 pp

Rahman SMA, Gajendra Singh, 2004. Effectiveness of spray schedules on leaf-hoppers of mango and their effect on fruit yield in Dasheri mango. Pest Management and Economic Zoology, 12(1):61-64

Rombach MC, Roberts DW, 1989. Hirsutella species (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes) on Philippine insects. Philippine Entomologist, 7(5):491-518

Sahoo AK, Samanta A, 2006. Comparative efficacy of various insecticidal modules against hoppers on mango. Pesticide Research Journal, 18(1):31-32

Singh SP, Rao NS, Henneberry TJ, 1993. Leafhoppers and their natural enemies. Technical Bulletin - Project Directorate of Biological Control, ICAR Bangalore, India; Biological Control Centre, National Centre for Integrated Pest Management (NCIPM), ICAR, No. 6:65 pp

Sohi AS, Sohi AS Sr, 1990. Mango leafhoppers (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) - a review. Journal of Insect Science, 3(1):1-12

Srivastava RP, Tandon PL, 1986. Natural occurrence of two entomogenous fungi pathogenic to mango hopper, Idioscopus clypealis Leth. Indian Journal of Plant Pathology, 4(2):121-123

Sushil Kumar, Raghvani BR, Bhatt RI, 2005. Bioefficacy of newer insecticides against hopper complex on 'Alphonso' mango in humid tropics of South Gujarat. Journal of Applied Zoological Researches, 16(1):64-66

Tandon PL, Lal B, 1983. Predatory spiders associated with insect pests of mango in India. Bulletin of Entomology, 24(2):144-147

Tandon PL, Lal B, Rao GSP, 1983. Prediction of the mango hopper, Idioscopus clypealis Leth. population in relation to physical environmental factors. Entomon, 8(3):257-261

Tandon PL, Verghese A, Rao GSR, 1989. Spatial distribution, sampling plan and appropriate transformation for the mango hopper, Idioscopus niveosparsus (Lethierry) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). Giornale Italiano di Entomologia, 4(22):235-242

Tripathi GM, Tripathi NLM, Misra RS, 1990. New record of Beauveria bassiana (Bals) Vuill, an entomogenous fungus on mango hopper Idioscopus spp. Indian Journal of Plant Protection, 18(1):140

Venkatesan S, Rabindra RJ, 1992. A survey report on the predatory spider population of mango leafhopper. South Indian Horticulture, 40(4):198-201

Verghese A, Rao GSP, 1985. Sequential sampling plan for mango leaf hopper, Idioscopus clypealis Lethierry. Entomon, 10(4):285-290

Verghese A, Rao GSP, 1987. Determination of relevant critical stages for the management of the mango hopper, Idioscopus clypealis Lethierry. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 44(3-4):280-283

Viraktamath CA, 1989. Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera) associated with mango, Mangifera indica L. Tropical Pest Management, 35(4):431-434

Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp


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07/04/17 Updated by:

R Ganeswaran, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka

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