Nilaparvata lugens (Stål 1854)

Published in: De Motschulsky, V. I. (1863). Essai d’un catalogue des insectes de l’ile de Ceylan. Bulletin De La Société Impériale Des Naturalistes De Moscou. Moscou, 36: 1-153.

Described as Delphax lugens Stál. Has also been known as Delphax sordescens Motschulsky, Nilaparvata greeni Distant, Kalpa aculeata Distant, Delphax ordovix Kirkaldy, Delphax parysatis Kirkaldy, Dicranotropis anderida Kirkaldy, Delphax oryzae Matsumura and Hikona formosana Matsumura.

(Wilson & Claridge 1991)

Description & Identification

Macropterous male 3.7-4.1 mm, female 4.1-5.0 mm. Brachypterous male 2.4-2.8 mm, female 2.8-3.3 mm. (Nielson, 1968)Yellowish-brown to dark brown. Carinae on vertex faint; median carina on frons distinct.(Nielson, 1968)The male genitalia are distinctive with the aedeagus slender and upturned. Parameres very distinctively shaped. Inner margin of valvifer VIII in female rounded at base. (Nielson, 1968)The male genitalia are distinctive, Aedeagus slender and upturned . Parameres very distinctively shaped . Inner margin of valvifer VIII in female rounded at base .(Wilson & Claridge 1991)


(Stål 1854)


Delphax lugens Stål, 1854
Delphax lunges Stål, 1854
Delphacodes sordescens (De Motschulsky, 1863)
Delphax sordescens De Motschulsky, 1863
Liburnia sordescens (De Motschulsky, 1863)
Nilaparvata sordescens (De Motschulsky, 1863)
Kalpa aculeata Distant, 1906
Nilaparvata greeni Distant, 1906
Delphacodes anderida (Kirkaldy, 1907)
Delphacodes ordovis (Kirkaldy, 1907)
Delphacodes ordovix (Kirkaldy, 1907)
Delphacodes parysatis (Kirkaldy, 1907)
Delphax ordovis Kirkaldy, 1907
Delphax ordovix Kirkaldy, 1907
Delphax parysatis Kirkaldy, 1907
Delphacodes anderita Muir, 1917

Common Names (full list)

Brown planthopper
Source: NCBI Taxonomy
Brown planthopper (bph)
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Kaki nga waya-waya
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Kayumangging hanip
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Kayumangging ngusong kabayo
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Waya waya
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Wereng coklat
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist

Additional Images

Images provided by GBIF data providers. We cannot verify that identifications are correct.

Worldwide Distribution

Throughout Southeast Asia and also parts of the Pacific and Australia. Known from: China, Fiji, India, Micronesia, Australia, Sri Lanka, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Cambodia, Sarawak, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Soviet Maritime Territory.

Distribution point data provided by GBIF.

Vector Status

Economic Crops


The rise to importance of N. lugens as a tropical pest in the last 20 years coincided with the widespread cultivation of modern, high- yielding dwarf varieties, and with increased use of nitrogen fertilisers and pesticides. The major strategy for control of this insect has been the development of resistant rice cultivars. This work was pioneered and still continues to great effect at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. The work has been summarised in a valuable symposium volume (IRRI, 1979). Many thousands of traditional varieties and wild species of Oryza have been identified that confer resistance to rice plants. At least three genes for resistance have been incorporated into high-yielding varieties. By selection, three separate populations were established, one reared only on the variety TN1, regarded as universally susceptible and lacking any known gene for resistance, a second on the Indian variety Mudgo, which incorporates the gene Bphl, and a third on another Indian variety ASD7, which incorporates the gene 6ph2. These populations were termed biotypes 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Some of this work is reviewed by Saxena and Khan (1989). 

The concept of biotypes as discrete and quite separate entities, identifiable in different parts of Asia, has been widely supported. However, studies of individual insects from the highly inbred populations of the IRRI biotype cultures have shown great variation in virulence (e.g. Claridge and Den Hollander, 1980; Den Hollander and Pathak, 1981; Claridge and Den Hollander, 1982). It seems that N. lugens populations adapt locally to the rice cultivars being grown in any region. Clearly, populations with similar virulence patterns may develop in many different regions quite independently and probably by different genetic means. It is, therefore, misleading to use a terminology of numbering or naming of biotypes from different regions (Claridge and Den Hollander, 1983). It should be noted that some workers still insist on the utility of the biotype nomenclature.

Recently, very interesting populations, morphologically indistinguishable from N. lugens, have been found feeding and reproducing on the grass Leersia hexandra in the Philippines (Heinrichs and Medrano, 1984). Experimental transfers of the Leersia -feeding populations to rice and of the rice-feeding ones to Leersia, showed very poor survival and no successful reproduction on the non-host plant. Similar results were obtained by Claridge and co-workers (Claridge et al., 1985a). In addition, the two populations were shown not to interbreed when given a choice, primarily because of differences in acoustic signals used during courtship. It was concluded that the Leersia feeding populations in the Philippines represent a distinct sympatric sibling species, differing in host plant preferences and in behaviour from the rice-feeding populations. Further studies have noted similar Leersia-feeding populations from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Australia (Claridge et al., 1988). In all regions the sympatric rice and Leersia-associated populations differ in acoustic signals and do not interbreed in the field. It is clear, therefore, that N. lugens should still be regarded as a very specific feeder, restricted only to rices, with a closely related species feeding and reproducing only on Leersia. Unfortunately no reliable morphological differences have yet been demonstrated which may be used to separate the two.

(Wilson & Claridge 1991)

Plant Diseases


Wilson, M.R. & Claridge, M.F. 1991. Handbook for the identification of leafhoppers and planthoppers of rice


Wilson, M.R. & Claridge, M.F. 1991. Handbook for the identification of leafhoppers and planthoppers of rice


Singh, V., Baitha, A., Sinha, O.K. 2002. Transmission of grassy shoot disease of sugarcane by a leafhopper (Deltocephalus ulgaris Dash & Viraktamath). Indian journal of sugarcane technology, 17: 1-2

Cook, A.G., Perfect, T.J. 1989. The population characteristics of the brown plant hopper, Nilaparvata lugens, in the Philippines. Ecological Entomology, 14(1): 1-9

* Citations of Phytoplasma occurrance in Nilaparvata lugens (Stål 1854) have been exctracted from the database of Hemiptera-Phytoplasma-Plant (HPP) biological interactions worldwide (Valeria Trivellone. (2019). Hemiptera-Phytoplasma-Plant dataset (v1.2) [Data set]. Zenodo.


Delphacidae Fulgoroidea Grasses/Cereals Nilaparvata Rice Oryzavirus Rice grassy stunt virus Rice ragged stunt virus Tenuivirus

Nilaparvata lugens (Stål 1854): Wilson M. R. & Turner J. A. 2021. Insect Vectors of Plant Disease. Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Available online at [ Accessed:  29/09/2023 ].
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