Metcalfa pruinosa (frosted moth-bug)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
Don't need the entire report?
Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.Generate report
PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Metcalfa pruinosa (Say)
Preferred Common Name
- frosted moth-bug
Other Scientific Names
- Ormenis pruinosa (Say)
International Common Names
- English: citrus flatid plant hopper; Citrus planthopper; frosted lightening hopper (USA); mealy lantern fly (USA); moth bug
- METFPR (Metcalfa pruinosa)
- ORMEPR (Ormenis pruinosa)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Family: Flatidae
- Genus: Metcalfa
- Species: Metcalfa pruinosa
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
One of the common names applied to this insect is 'frosted lightening hopper' (Stene, 1908). The curious name 'lightening hopper' (or 'lightning hopper' see Chittenden, 1900) apparently derives from the term 'lanternfly' for the type-species of the family, Fulgora laternaria (L.), which was thought to have a luminescent head process. The modern common name for Fulgoroidea is 'planthopper' and the common name for the family to which Metcalfa belongs (Flatidae) is 'moth-bug'. Hence, the recommended common name, modernized from Stene, would be 'frosted moth-bug'.
DescriptionTop of page
Crown of head very short, flat both on upper and anterior surfaces between prominent lateral carinae; coronal margin rounding to face; face nearly flat, as long as broad, sides bowed, median carina obscure; clypellus tapered to apex; gena and antennae below eyes, on sides of head; thorax distinctly wider than head across eyes, tegula standing straight out from thorax; pronotum short, a quarter as long as mesonotum, strongly emarginate on caudal edge, mesonotum thus extending forwards to between eyes (Metcalf, 1923); fore wings leaflike, apices expanded and subtruncate, very broad (2.3 times as long as wide across tips, 2.6 times as long as wide at midlength), with numerous veins forming many narrow, unaligned discal and anteapical cells, and close-set costal crossveins forming continuous series with well-defined row of more than 15 apical cells which in turn may be divided by veinal furcations (Metcalf and Bruner, 1948); appendix absent; hind tibia 1.5 times as long as in other legs, bearing a few scattered black-tipped spines towards tip on lateral ridges, and a pecten of 5-7 black-tipped spines at tip; hind tarsi with pecten of 7-8 spines on lower surface of basal segment and only two on slightly shorter second segment.
Female with ovipositor short, upturned between lobes of pygofers; pygofer lobes armed with 5 pairs of strong, sharp, inturned teeth like leaves of Venus flytrap. Male pygofer and subgenital plates not differentiated from ringlike segment IX; anal tube short, with elongate tonguelike process (grooved on midline) above lower angle; styles held vertically, in ventral aspect slender, slightly divergent near tips, in lateral aspect broadening towards tips, bearing recurved hook beyond tip of aedeagus, setose, articulated against undifferentiated sternite IX; connective linear; aedeagus curved dorsad, parallel-margined to truncate tip bearing two pairs of processes directed forward (Metcalf and Bruner, 1948).
Nymph ivory white, strongly dorsoventrally compressed; head much narrower than pronotum, half as wide as thorax across wing pads in mature nymphs; abdomen short and barrel-shaped; pronotum chevron-shaped, with oblique row of prominent, circular pits diverging from midline; scattered pits on apices of wing pads and sides of abdomen (Lucchi and Santini, 1993); legs short and with few spines, becoming more numerous as nymph matures.
DistributionTop of page
Distribution TableTop of page
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.Last updated: 12 May 2022
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Switzerland||Present, Localized||Original citation: Jermini, 1995|
|Cuba||Present||Original citation: Metcalfe & Bruner, 1948|
|United States||Present, Localized|
|-Arizona||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|-California||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|-District of Columbia||Present|
|-New Mexico||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|-New York||Present, Widespread|
|-Rhode Island||Present, Widespread|
|Brazil||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
In soyabeans the symptoms of infestation are chlorosis and necrosis of the leaves, smearing of leaves and stalks with wax and sooty mould, withering of shoot tips and malformation and shrivelling of seeds (Ciampolini et al., 1987).
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Stems / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Whole plant / dwarfing|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Neodryinus typhlocybae was imported into Italy from the USA for biological control of M. pruinosa (Girolami et al., 1996) but it is not clear whether it was released and, if so, whether it became established.
ImpactTop of page
Detection and InspectionTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Chemical control against dense nymphal populations might be justified on valuable trees, but control of sooty mould by means of fungicides is usually more useful. Chemical control of adults is difficult owing to their mobility and long life (Duso, 1984). For chemical control, timing is of the utmost importance, and at the very first signs of infestation, malathion, acephate, fenitrothion or pyrethroids should be applied at the edges of the fields (Ciampolini et al., 1987). Insecticide applications should be kept to a minimum; one application should be made on the crop and wild plants at the end of July/beginning of August to eliminate immature nymphs and newly-emerged adults, and a second application should be made on wild plants in the first half of August to prevent the adults from reinvading the crop.
On fruit crops which already receive calendar treatments of insecticides, a product effective against M. pruinosa could be inserted into the control programme at these times. (Ciampolini et al., 1995). The most effective insecticides were fenitrothion and quinalphos. Deltamethrin gave good control while pyridaphenthion gave mediocre control. Dimethoate gave better control on the leaves than on the fruit. Chlorpyrifos-methyl needed to be sprayed directly onto the adults to achieve maximum efficacy. Acephate, lambda-cyhalothrin, dimethoate, pyridaphenthion and deltamethrin persisted for 5-8 days, and then quinalphos, fenitrothion and chlorpyrifos-methyl (0-2 days). Chlorpyrifos-methyl, deltamethrin and quinalphos had a repellent activity, accounting for their low levels of persistence. (Stefanelli et al., 1994). Etofenprox had a sufficient and prolonged efficacy, contrasting with the high and brief activity of malathion. Applications of imidacloprid, a well-known systemic insecticide, in granular form to the foot of the plant or in liquid form to the trunk abolished negative effects on the urban population normally caused by spray treatments. Neem oil was not active against the adults, but it is suggested that it could be active against immature stages (Pasini et al., 1997).
Soap solutions cause almost all of the young stages of the pest to fall to the ground. In the absence of insecticide treatments, the colonies reform 8-10 days later. The treatment is also highly effective in washing away from the plants wax secretions and honeydew produced by the flatid. The treatment should be made as late as possible but before the appearance of adults (Greatti and Girolami, 1994).
ReferencesTop of page
Adams RH, 1941. Stratification, diurnal and seasonal migration of the animals in a deciduous forest. Ecological Monographs, 11:189-227.
Barbattini R; Greatti M; Iob M; Sabatini AG; Marcazzan GL; Colombo R, 1992. Apicultural interest of Metcalfa pruinosa: production and physico-chemical characteristics of honeydew honey. Apicoltore Moderno, 83(1):5-11
Caldwell JS; Martorell LF, 1951. Review of the Auchenorrhynchous Homoptera of Puerto Rico. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 34:1-269.
Chittenden FH, 1900. Notes on two species of "lightning [sic] hoppers." United States Department of Agriculture, Division of Entomology, Bulletin (new series), 22:98-99.
Ciampolini M; Pane MD; Scaglia M, 1995. Metcalfa pruinosa: piu problemi nella difesa delle colture frutticole. Informatore Agrario, 51(23):67-72.
Demİr, E., 2018. The economically important alien invasive planthoppers in Turkey (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha). Acta Entomologica Slovenica, 26(2), 233-242. http://www.pms-lj.si/si/o-nas/arhiv-publikacij/acta-entomologica-slovenica
Dozier HL, 1926. The Fulgoridae or plant-hoppers of Mississippi, including those of possible occurrence: a taxonomic, biological, and economic study. Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 14.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Garman H, 1915. The locust borer (Cyllene robiniae) and other insect enemies of the black locust. The State Forester of Kentucky, Lexington, Biennial Report, 2:57-58.
Girolami V; Conte L; Camporese P; Benuzzi M; Martir GR; Dradi D, 1996. Possibilita di controllo biologico della Metcalfa pruinosa. Informatore Agrario, 52:25.
Glavendekic M; Mihajlovic L; Petanovic R, 2005. Introduction and spread of invasive mites and insects in Serbia and Montenegro. In: Plant protection and plant health in Europe: introduction and spread of invasive species, held at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, 9-11 June 2005 [ed. by Alford, D. V.\Backhaus, G. F.]. Alton, UK: British Crop Protection Council, 229-230. [Symposium Proceedings No.81.]
Gogan A; Grozea I; Virteiu AM, 2010. Metcalfa pruinosa Say (Insecta: Homoptera: Flatidae) - first occurrence in western part of Romania. Research Journal of Agricultural Science, 42(4):63-67. http://biblios.usab-tm.ro
Gowdey CC, 1926. Catalogus insectorum Jamaicensis. Department of Agriculture of Jamaica, Entomology Bulletin 4(1):1-114.
Heaton RR, 1934. An annotated list of the Fulgoridae (Homoptera) of Indiana. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society, 29:107-115.
Jermini M; Bonavia M; Brunetti R; Mauri G; Cavalli V, 1995. Metcalfa pruinosa Say, Hyphantria cunea (Drury) and Dichelomyia oenophila Haimah., three entomological curiosities or new phytosanitary problems for Tessin and Switzerland? Revue Suisse de Viticulture, d'Arboriculture et d'Horticulture, 27(1):57-63
Kim YeYeun; Kim MinYoung; Hong KiJeong; Lee SeungHwan, 2011. Outbreak of an exotic flatid, Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) (Hemiptera: Flatidae), in the capital region of Korea. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, 14(4):473-478. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S122686151100077X
Kiss B; Karap A; Kis A; Szita É, 2013. Occurrence of Metcalfa pruinosa and Liguropia juniperi in rest areas along Hungarian higways. (Az amerikai lepkekabóca (Metcalfa pruinosa) és a tujakabóca (Liguropia juniperi) elodouble acute~fordulása hazai autópálya pihenodouble acute~helyeken.) Növényvédelem, 49(12):571-575.
Lee HeungSu; Wilson SW, 2010. First report of the Nearctic flatid planthopper Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) in the Republic of Korea (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Entomological News, 121(5):506-513. http://www.bioone.org/loi/entn
Lucchi A; Santini L, 1993. Note morfo-biologiche sugli stadi preimmaginali di Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) (Homoptera, Flatidae). Frustula Entomologica, 16:175-185.
Maceljski M; Kocijancic E; Igrc-Barcic J, 1995. Medeci cvrcak (Metcalfa pruinosa (Say)) - Novi Stetnik u hrvatskoj. Fragmenta Phytomedica et Herbologica, 23(2):69-76.
Malumphy C; Baker R; Cheek S, 1994. Citrus planthopper, Metcalfa pruinosa. Plant Pest Notice, Central Science Laboratory. UK: MAFF, 19:1-2.
Manns TF; Manns MM, 1935. The dissemination of peach yellows and little peach [disease]. Delaware Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin, 192:40-44.
Melichar L, 1902. Monographie der Acanaloniiden und Flatiden (Homoptera) (Fortsetzung.). Annalen des k. K. Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums, Wien, 17:1-123.
Metcalf ZP, 1923. A key to the Fulgoridae of eastern North America with descriptions of new species. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Society, 38:139-230.
Metcalf ZP; Bruner SC, 1948. Cuban Flatidae with new species from adjacent regions. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 41:63-118.
Moore GA, 1950. Check-list of Hemiptera of the Province of Quebec. Contributions de l'Institut de Biologie de l'Université de Montréal, 26.
Ogilvie L, 1928. The Insects of Bermuda. Beccles, UK: William Clowes and Sons.
Osborn H, 1938. The Fulgoridae of Ohio. Ohio State University Studies. Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin, 35:283-357.
Pantaleoni RA, 1989. The ways in which Metcalfa pruinosa (Say, 1830) (Auchenorrhyncha Flatidae) invades a new area. Bollettino dell'Istituto di Entomologia "Guido Grandi" della Universita degli Studi di Bologna, 43:1-7
Pasini M; Tosi L; Galbero G, 1997. Prove di lotta contro adulti di Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) con principi attivi diversi. Informatore Agrario, 53(20):68-70.
Pencheva, A., Yovkova, M., 2016. New data on alien insect pests of ornamental plants in Bulgaria. Forestry Ideas, 22(1), 17-33. http://forestry-ideas.info/issues/issues_Index.php?pageNum_rsIssue=1&totalRows_rsIssue=9&journalFilter=55
Santini L, 1989. Sulla comparsa in Toscana dell'Omottero Flatide Neartico Metcalfa pruinosa (Say). Frustula Entomologica, 12: 67-70.
Spooner CS, 1920. Some notes on the occurrence of Delphacinae [sic] (Hemip. Homop.). Entomological News, 31:44-46.
Stene AE, 1908. Frosted lightening hopper. Ormenis pruinosa, Say. Report of the Rhode Island Board of Agriculture, 23:32.
Tancik, J., Seljak, G., 2017. Occurrence of Scaphoideus titanus Ball and some other Auchenorrhyncha in the vineyards of western Slovakia. Plant Protection Science, 53(2), 96-100. doi: 10.17221/40/2016-pps
Van Duzee EP, 1917. Catalogue of the Hemiptera of America north of Mexico, excepting the Aphididae, Coccidae and Aleurodidae. Berkeley, USA: University of California.
Van Duzee EP, 1923. Family Fulgoridae. In: Britton WE, ed. Guide to the Insects of Connecticut, Part IV: The Hemiptera or Sucking Insects of Connecticut. State of Connecticut Public Document 47. State Geological and Natural History Survey Bulletin, 34:24-55.
Weese AO, 1924. Animal ecology of an Illinois elm-maple forest. Illinois Biological Monographs, 9(4):7-93.
Wilson SW; McPherson JE, 1981. Life histories of Anormenis septentrionalis, Metcalfa pruinosa, and Ormenoides venusta with descriptions of immature stages. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 74(3):299-311
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Chireceanu C, Teodoru A, Chiriloaie A, 2017. New invasive insect pests recently reported in Southern Romania. Scientific Papers - Series B, Horticulture. 461-467. http://horticulturejournal.usamv.ro/pdf/2017/Art68.pdf
Demİr E, 2018. The economically important alien invasive planthoppers in Turkey (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha). Acta Entomologica Slovenica. 26 (2), 233-242. http://www.pms-lj.si/si/o-nas/arhiv-publikacij/acta-entomologica-slovenica
Glavendekić M, Mihajlović L, Petanović R, 2005. Introduction and spread of invasive mites and insects in Serbia and Montenegro. In: Plant protection and plant health in Europe: introduction and spread of invasive species, held at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, 9-11 June 2005. [ed. by Alford D V, Backhaus G F]. Alton, UK: British Crop Protection Council. 229-230.
Gogan A, Grozea I, Virteiu A M, 2010. Metcalfa pruinosa Say (Insecta: Homoptera: Flatidae) - first occurrence in western part of Romania. Research Journal of Agricultural Science. 42 (4), 63-67. http://biblios.usab-tm.ro
Kim YeYeun, Kim MinYoung, Hong KiJeong, Lee SeungHwan, 2011. Outbreak of an exotic flatid, Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) (Hemiptera: Flatidae), in the capital region of Korea. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology. 14 (4), 473-478. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S122686151100077X DOI:10.1016/j.aspen.2011.06.002
Kiss B, Karap A, Kis A, Szita É, 2013. Occurrence of Metcalfa pruinosa and Liguropia juniperi in rest areas along Hungarian higways. (Az amerikai lepkekabóca (Metcalfa pruinosa) és a tujakabóca (Liguropia juniperi) előfordulása hazai autópálya pihenőhelyeken.). Növényvédelem. 49 (12), 571-575.
Lee HeungSu, Wilson S W, 2010. First report of the Nearctic flatid planthopper Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) in the Republic of Korea (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Entomological News. 121 (5), 506-513. DOI:10.3157/021.121.0514
Maceljski M, Kocijančić E, Igrc Barčić J, 1995. Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) - a new insect pest in Croatia. (Medeći cvrčak (Metcalfa pruinosa (Say)) - Novi Štetnik u hrvatskoj.). Fragmenta Phytomedica et Herbologica. 23 (2), 69-76.
Malumphy C, Baker R, Cheek S, 1994. Citrus planthopper, Metcalfa pruinosa. In: Plant Pest Notice, Central Science Laboratory, 19 UK: MAFF. 1-2.
Pencheva A, Yovkova M, 2016. New data on alien insect pests of ornamental plants in Bulgaria. Forestry Ideas. 22 (1), 17-33. http://forestry-ideas.info/issues/issues_Index.php?pageNum_rsIssue=1&totalRows_rsIssue=9&journalFilter=55
Seebens H, Blackburn T M, Dyer E E, Genovesi P, Hulme P E, Jeschke J M, Pagad S, Pyšek P, Winter M, Arianoutsou M, Bacher S, Blasius B, Brundu G, Capinha C, Celesti-Grapow L, Dawson W, Dullinger S, Fuentes N, Jäger H, Kartesz J, Kenis M, Kreft H, Kühn I, Lenzner B, Liebhold A, Mosena A (et al), 2017. No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nature Communications. 8 (2), 14435. http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14435
Tancik J, Seljak G, 2017. Occurrence of Scaphoideus titanus Ball and some other Auchenorrhyncha in the vineyards of western Slovakia. Plant Protection Science. 53 (2), 96-100. DOI:10.17221/40/2016-pps
Van Duzee EP, 1923. Family Fulgoridae. In: Guide to the Insects of Connecticut, Part IV: The Hemiptera or Sucking Insects of Connecticut. State of Connecticut Public Document 47, 34 [ed. by Britton WE]. 24-55.
Zangheri S, Donadini P, 1980. Appearance in the Venice district of a Nearctic bug: Metcalfa pruinosa Say (Homoptera, Flatidae). (Comparsa nel veneto di un omottero neartico: Metcalfa pruinosa Say (Homoptera, Flatidae).). Redia. 301-305.
Distribution MapsTop of page
Select a dataset
CABI Summary Records
Unsupported Web Browser:
One or more of the features that are needed to show you the maps functionality are not available in the web browser that you are using.
Please consider upgrading your browser to the latest version or installing a new browser.
More information about modern web browsers can be found at http://browsehappy.com/