Mango leafhopper

Have you seen mango leafhopper symptoms outside the pest quarantine areas?

Mango leafhoppers are known to be present in Queensland in Cape York Peninsula, Dimbulah, Mareeba and Mutchilba.

Be on the lookout for symptoms, and if you see them outside these areas, report them to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 straight away. Early detection is vital.

Image of a mango leafhopper adult (top) and nymph

Figure 1: Mango leafhopper adult (top) and nymph

Image of black sooty mould and flower damage

Figure 2: Black sooty mould and flower damage

General information

Mango leafhoppers (Idioscopus nitidulus and Idioscopus clypealis) are small, cicada-like, plant-sucking pests of mango.

Mango leafhoppers can cause serious damage by feeding on flowers and leaves, reducing fruit set and production.

Mango leafhoppers have been detected in Far North Queensland (Cape York Peninsula), and in a number of towns in the Tablelands and Cairns Regional Shire areas (Dimbulah, Mareeba, Mutchilba). Two quarantine areas (PDF, 189KB) have been imposed to restrict any further spread of this pest.


Species name

Idioscopus nitidulus and Idioscopus clypealis

What it looks like

Mango leafhoppers are small (4-5mm long) insects with a body shape similar to a cicada. Adults have a greenish-brown body with pale yellow on top of the head. Nymphs are yellowish-brown with two small red eyes.

The pest usually occurs in high numbers on mango flowers during the spring and on leaves during the summer. When disturbed, the adults jump off the plant with a clicking sound, make a short flight and settle back on the plant. The nymphs cannot fly but move rapidly on the plant.

Host range


Where it occurs

Mango leafhopper is thought to have originated in India where it occurs in all mango growing regions, but is now widespread in South East Asia. It is currently found in the Torres Strait, Northern Territory (Darwin, Katherine, Pine Creek, Tipperary), and Queensland. In Queensland, they have been detected in several locations on northern Cape York Peninsula including Weipa, Napranum and Aurukun, as well as Dimbulah, Mareeba and Mutchilba.


Leafhoppers are sap suckers. Their feeding and egg-laying in flowers causes physical injury and serious impairment of fruit development. They also secrete a sticky shiny liquid known as honeydew on which black sooty mould grows. Sooty mould interferes with photosynthesis in the leaves, reducing yield. Sooty mould can also be caused by other commonly occurring pests such as pink wax scale and mango flatid.

Overseas, crop losses from this pest have been up to 50%. Where the pest occurs in commercial orchards, chemical treatments are often required to produce good mango crops.


In Australia, sprays applied for other pests may also be effective against mango leafhopper. Natural enemies to the pest occur in India, but have not been found in Australia.

Quarantine restrictions

Biosecurity Queensland has established two mango leafhopper quarantine areas (PDF, 189KB) that includes all of Cape York Peninsula and the Tablelands and Cairns Regional Shires.

It is illegal to move any mango plants, fruit or other plant material out of the quarantine area without it being checked for mango leafhopper by an inspector. Infested plant material cannot be moved within the quarantine area.

Biosecurity Queensland staff at the Coen Information and Inspection Centre check vehicles moving south from Cape York to ensure that the pest is not illegally carried from the quarantine area.

Your cooperation in complying with these restrictions will help stop the movement of the pest south on the Peninsula and into Queensland's main mango production areas.

Last updated 03 September 2012