Sophonia orientalis (two-spotted leafhopper)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Impact Summary
- Environmental Impact
- Threatened Species
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Sophonia orientalis (Matsumura)
Preferred Common Name
- two-spotted leafhopper
Other Scientific Names
- Nirvana orientalis Matsumura, 1912
- Pseudonirvana rufofascia Kuoh and Kuoh, 1983
- Sophonia rufofascia (Kuoh and Kuoh)
International Common Names
- English: leafhopper, two-spotted
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
- Unknown: Cicadelloidea
- Family: Cicadellidae
- Genus: Sophonia
- Species: Sophonia orientalis
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
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: 29 Apr 2022
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|China||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Gibraltar||Present||Gibraltar Botanic Garden.|
|Portugal||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Spain||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Introduced||La Palma.|
|United States||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
HabitatTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / necrotic areas|
|Whole plant / discoloration|
|Whole plant / dwarfing|
|Whole plant / external feeding|
|Whole plant / plant dead; dieback|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Physiology and Phenology
All the information on this subject was obtained on the Hawaiian Islands, North America. Therefore, it is possible that the leafhopper phenology will be different in the areas with more pronounced seasonal changes. Under conditions typical to the Hawaiian winter (18.0-23.5ºC and 81.3-97.7% RH), it took S. orientalis between 3 and 4 months to complete a single generation (Duan and Messing, 2000). Because of the long oviposition and egg-hatching periods (approximately 10 and 4 weeks, respectively), it is likely that S. orientalis has overlapping generations (Duan and Messing, 2000). The adult leafhoppers were captured by yellow sticky cards throughout the year in a number of habitats on the islands of Kauai and Hawaii. However, their densities were usually highest during the summer months (Lenz and Taylor, 2001; Yang et al., 2002).
S. orientalis is similar to many other cicadellid leafhoppers in that it reproduces sexually and is oviparous. In the laboratory at 23 ± 1.5ºC, adult S. orientalis did not mate until 7-9 days after eclosion. The proportion of mating pairs increased from 10 to 100% as age increased from 9 to 15 days. A complete mating process in S. orientalis consisted of mounting, back-to-back copulation, and postmating rest phases, which lasted for a mean ± SE period of 0.7 ± 0.04, 64.7 ± 1.20 and 3.5 ± 0.39 minutes, respectively (Duan and Messing, 2000). A single female produces approximately 30-35 eggs throughout her life span (Duan and Messing, 2000). Females insert their eggs on the underside (abaxial surface) of the foliage, usually at the juncture of the midrib and lamina, sometimes directly in the midrib and often near the intersection of the midrib and a cross-vein (Culliney, 1998; Yang et al., 2000). The eggs are usually located in the pith of the midrib with their long axis aligned with the axis of the vein. They may be positioned either with the operculum protruding slightly from the oviposition scar, or entirely concealed just below the scar surface (Culliney, 1998). On plants with thicker leaves, some of the eggs may be deposited away from the midrib (Yang et al., 2000). A variation in egg position relative to the basal, middle and apical third of the leaf also exists, but usually the middle third of the leaf is the most common oviposition site (Yang et al., 2000). When the adults were caged onto individual shoots of host plants [Cordyline terminalis (ti) and Psidium guajava (guava)] growing outdoors at 18.0-23.5ºC and 81.3-97.7% RH, they did not lay eggs until the second week after emergence. The oviposition period lasted 8-9 weeks, and the weekly oviposition rate peaked 4-5 weeks after emergence (9.8 ± 2.9 eggs per female on ti and 8.1 ± 0.9 eggs per female on guava). There was no significant difference in the total number of eggs laid per female on guava versus ti plants. Under outdoor ambient conditions, the eggs of S. rufofascia did not begin to hatch until 4 weeks after oviposition, and the peak rate of hatch occurred 6 weeks after oviposition. The newly hatched nymphs took a mean of 56.9 ± 2.8 days to complete development to the adult stage on guava and 47.2 ± 1.7 days on ti plants (Duan and Messing, 2000).
S. orientalis is widely distributed in areas with a warm climate, ranging from Pakistan to California, USA. In Hawaii it has been collected from the sea level up to 1460 m (Fukada, 1996). It is not known to occur in areas with colder climates. Therefore, it appears that this species can survive under a variety of environmental conditions, as long as it does not get too cold. However, its exact environmental tolerances and preferences are unknown.
Jones et al. (1998) demonstrated that S. orientalis did not vector phytoplasmas in guava plantations in Hawaii. It is also not known to form any other interspecific associations.
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
The adult leafhoppers have fully developed wings and readily fly. The extent of their natural dispersal has never been documented, but it is likely that they can be blown by the wind over considerable distances.
Movement in Trade
All life stages can be readily moved on vegetative plant materials. A number of recent interceptions on imported plants in California, USA (Pylman and Saunders, 2000; Sokulsky and Chen, 2001) confirm the probability of such a mode of introduction.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|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 SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
|Threatened Species||Conservation Status||Where Threatened||Mechanism||References||Notes|
|Doryopteris takeuchii (Takeuch's lipfern)||NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Herbivory/grazing/browsing||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2013b)|
|Dracaena forbesii (hala pepe)||USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Herbivory/grazing/browsing||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2013a)|
|Loxioides bailleui (palila)||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Competition - monopolizing resources||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2006)|
|Pritchardia lanigera||EN (IUCN red list: Endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Herbivory/grazing/browsing||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2013a)|
|Santalum freycinetianum var. lanaiense||No Details||Hawaii||Herbivory/grazing/browsing||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2011)|
Risk and Impact FactorsTop 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.
Quarantine inspections may help to prevent S. orientalis introductions into new areas.
A complex of two inadvertently introduced (Chaetomymar sophoniae and Schizophragma bicolor) and one or more native (Polynema sp.) egg parasitoids parasitized approximately 40% of S. orientalis eggs in Hawaii, North America. Percent parasitism increased dramatically between 1995 and 2000, and was accompanied by a substantial reduction in leafhopper densities (Yang et al., 2000, 2002; Alyokhin et al., 2001; Johnson et al., 2001). Since its first appearance in Hawaii, Ch. sophoniae rapidly expanded its range and began to dominate the parasitoid complex attacking S. orientalis. It is not known if the parasitoids were solely responsible for the observed suppression of S. orientalis, but it is likely that their contribution was substantial. Unfortunately, all the species have a fairly wide host range. Therefore, their possible future introductions into new areas for S. orientalis control should be carefully weighed against possible non-target effects on native leafhopper species.
Chemical control appears to be highly efficient in controlling S. orientalis, with substantial reductions in both leafhopper populations and damage observed following the applications of a rotenone-azadiractin tank mix (Jones et al., 1998), orthene (Lenz, 2000) and imidacloprid (Follett et al., 2000).
No IPM programmes have been developed to specifically target S. orientalis.
ReferencesTop of page
Aguin-Pombo D, Aguiar AMF, Kuznetsova VG, 2007. Bionomics and taxonomy of leafhopper Sophonia orientalis (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), a pacific pest species in the Macaronesian Archipelagos. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 100(1):19-26. http://esa.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/esa/aesa/2007/00000100/00000001/art00004
Ahmed M, Mahmood SH, 1970. A new genus and two new species of Nirvaninae (Cicadellidae:Homoptera) from Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, 12:260-263.
Alyokhin AV, Yang PJ, Messing RH, 2001. Distribution and parasitism of Sophonia rufofascia (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) eggs in Hawaii. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 94(5):664-669; 23 ref.
Alyokhin AV, Yang PJ, Messing RH, 2004. Oviposition of the invasive two-spotted leafhopper on an endemic tree: effects of an alien weed, foliar pubescence, and habitat humidity. Journal of Insect Science (Tucson), 4:13. http://www.insectscience.org/4.13/
Beardsley JW, Huber JT, 2000. Key to genera of Mymaridae in the Hawaiian islands, with notes on some species (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 34:1-22.
Culliney TW, 1998. Site of oviposition and description of eggs of Sophonia rufofascia (Homoptera: Cicadellidae: Nirvaninae), a polyphagous pest in Hawaii. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 33:67-73.
Follett PA, Empy-Campora C, Jones VP, 2000. Imidachloprid as a protectant for endangered plants attacked by Sophonia rufofascia. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 34:199-201.
Fukada M, 1996. Distribution, host range, and seasonal abundance of the two spotted leafhopper, Sophonia rufofascia (Kuoh and Kuoh) in Hawaii. MSc thesis. Honolulu: University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Garrison RW, 1996. New agricultural pest for Southern California: two-spotted leafhopper (Sophonia rufofascia). California Pest and Disease Report, 15:6-7.
Heu R, Kumashiro B, 1989. Notes and exhibition. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 29:16-17.
Huang KW, 1994. Supplement of Nirvanini of Taiwan (Homoptera: Cicadellidae: Nirvaninae). Chinese Journal of Entomology, 14:83-88.
Jones VP, Anderson-Wong P, Follett PA, Yang PingJun, Westcot DM, Hu JS, Ullman DE, 2000. Feeding damage of the introduced leafhopper Sophonia rufofascia (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) to plants in forests and watersheds of the Hawaiian Islands. Environmental Entomology, 29(2):171-180; 20 ref.
Jones VP, Follett PA, Messing RH, Borth WB, Hu JS, Ullman DE, 1998. Effect of Sophonia rufofascia (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) on guava production in Hawaii. Journal of Economic Entomology, 91(3):693-698; 20 ref.
Lenz L, Taylor JA, 2001. The influence of an invasive tree species (Myrica faya) on the abundance of an alien insect (Sophonia rufofascia) in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Biological Conservation, 102:301-307.
Lenz, LS, 2000. The dieback of an invasive tree in Hawaii: interactions between the two-spotted leafhopper (Sophonia rufofascia) and faya tree (Myrica faya). MSc Thesis, Honolulu: University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Matsumura S, 1912. Die Acocephalinen und Bythoscopinen Japans. Journal of Sapporo College of Agriculture, 4:279-325.
Palmer DD, 1993. Hawaiian ferns under attack. Fiddlehead, 20:37.
Polhemus D, 2001. The first record of Sophonia rufofascia (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in Tahiti. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 35:16-17.
Pylman J, Saunders R, 2000. Sacramento County 2000 Crop & Livestock Report. Sacramento County: Agricultural Commissioner's Office.
Sokulsky R, Chen J, 2001. 2001 Crop and Livestock Report. Los Angeles, USA: County of Los Angeles Agricultural Commissioner / Weights and Measures Department.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013. In: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered Species Status for 15 Species on Hawaii Island; Final Rule. 78(209) US Fish and Wildlife Service, 64638-64690. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-29/pdf/2013-24103.pdf
US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013. In: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered Status for Chromolaena frustrata (Cape Sable Thoroughwort), Consolea corallicola (Florida Semaphore Cactus), and Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal Prickly-Apple); Final Rule. 78(206) US Fish and Wildlife Service, 17 pp.. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-24/pdf/2013-24177.pdf
Viraktamath CA, 1992. Oriental nirvanine leafhoppers (Homoptera: Cicadellidae): a review of C. F. Baker's species and keys to the genera and species from Singapore, Borneo, and the Philippines. Entomologica Scandinavica, 23:249-273.
Viraktamath CA, Wesley CS, 1988. Revision of the Nirvaninae (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) of the Indian subcontinent. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs, 12:182-223.
Yang P, Follett PA, Jones VP, Foote D, 2000. Oviposition behavior and egg parasitoids of Sophonia rufofascia (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 34:135-139.
Yang P, Foote D, Alyokhin AV, Lenz L, Messing RH, 2002. Distribution and abundance of mymarid parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) of Sophonia rufofascia Kuoh and Kuoh (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in Hawaii. Biological Control, 23(3):237-244; 24 ref.
Aguin-Pombo D, Aguiar A M F, Kuznetsova V G, 2007. Bionomics and taxonomy of leafhopper Sophonia orientalis (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), a pacific pest species in the Macaronesian Archipelagos. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 100 (1), 19-26. http://esa.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/esa/aesa/2007/00000100/00000001/art00004 DOI:10.1603/0013-8746(2007)100[19:BATOLS]2.0.CO;2
Ahmed M, Mahmood SH, 1970. A new genus and two new species of Nirvaninae (Cicadellidae:Homoptera) from Pakistan., 12 260-263.
Avanesyan A, Snook K A, Follett P A, Lamp W O, 2019. Short-term physiological response of a native Hawaiian plant, Hibiscus arnottianus, to injury by the exotic leafhopper, Sophonia orientalis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Environmental Entomology. 48 (2), 363-369. DOI:10.1093/ee/nvy193
CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Duan J J, Messing R H, 2000. Mating, oviposition, and development of Sophonia rufofascia (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in Hawaii. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 93 (3), 554-558. DOI:10.1603/0013-8746(2000)093[0554:MOADOS]2.0.CO;2
Garrison RW, 1996. New agricultural pest for Southern California: two-spotted leafhopper (Sophonia rufofascia). In: California Pest and Disease Report, 15 6-7.
Heu R, Kumashiro B, 1989. Notes and exhibition. [Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society], 29 16-17.
Kasumasa M, Fujiwara K, 2021. Specimen record from the Itami City Museum of Insects. National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/cvclt9 accessed via GBIF.org.,
Neto A C, Mateus C, Andrade E de, Barateiro A, Bigolin M, Chaves M, Guerreiro V, Pereira F, Soares C, Tomé D, Coutinho J P, Franco J C, Rebelo M T, 2020. First record of the invasive leafhopper Sophonia orientalis in mainland Portugal. Journal of Pest Science. 94 (2), 241-249. DOI:10.1007/s10340-020-01289-5
Polhemus D, 2001. The first record of Sophonia rufofascia (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in Tahiti. [Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society], 35 16-17.
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
The International Barcode of Life Consortium, 2016. Specimen record from the collection in the International Barcode of Life project (iBOL) database, accessed via GBIF.org., https://www.gbif.org/
Ueda K, 2020. Specimen record in iNaturalist Research-grade Observations. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/ab3s5x accessed via GBIF.org., GBIF. https://www.gbif.org
Wilson M, Bensusan K J, Pérez C E, Torres-Méndez J L, 2011. First records of the exotic leafhopper Sophonia orientalis (Matsumura, 1912) (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae) for the Iberian Peninsula and mainland Europe. Boletín de la SEA. 48 (-), 435-436. http://sea-entomologia.org/Publicaciones/PDF/BOLN_48/435436BSEA48PhoronSophoniarufofascia.pdf
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