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Two-Spotted Leafhopper Project


Two-spotted leaf hopperTwospotted leafhopper

(Sophonia rufofascia [Kuoh & Kuoh]):

This polyphagous leafhopper was first detected on Oahu in June 1987, subsequently spreading to the other major islands over the next five years. Originally described from tea and rice in China, S. rufofascia has been recorded from more than 290 host plants in Hawaii, including several commercially important food and ornamental crops.

It is regarded as a major pest of guava, is a suspected vector of plant pathogens, and has been implicated in the die-back of forest plants important in maintaining watersheds. Damage to hosts varies, ranging from chlorosis to browning and death of foliage, and may be caused in part by hosts' reactions to a toxic saliva injected by the leafhopper.

Extremely little published information is available on the biology of any Sophonia species, a group that is distributed throughout the Oriental and Australian regions, and through parts of Oceania. Again, although exploration in southern China in 1993 failed to discover potential control agents, the leafhopper ranks high on the state's priority list of insects targeted for biological control.