Idiocerus atkinsoni Lethierry (Mango leaf-hopper) | Wandofknowledge
- Class– Insecta
- Order– Hemiptera
- Family– Jassidae
- Genus– Idiocerus
- Species– atkinsoni
Mango leaf hoppers are widely distributed in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Formosa. It is very much destructive in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and possibly other states.
Food plant :
They are monophagous, so feed only on mango.
General appearance :
They are small insects of greyish brown colour measuring 5-6 mm in length. Dark grey wings are held roof like over the body. The head is broad and prominent and the hind legs are thickly covered with bristles. Two other species destroying the mango crop are Idiocerus clypealis Lethierry and Idiocerus niveosparsus in February from underneath the bark of trees. Now they start sucking the cell-sap.
Life history :
They lay dull-white round eggs singly in the tissues of mango leaves, buds and flowers in the second week of February. The egg laying continues for few weeks. Single female can deposit an average of 200 eggs. After 4-6 days of incubation, egg hatches into tiny yellowish green coloured nymph which sucks the cell-sap of tender shoots, flowers and buds and excretes honey dew exposing the affected regions to fungal attack giving a dull blackish look to the mango trees. The nymphs resemble the adult but are wingless and legs are comparatively longer so they can jump from one place to other. The mature nymphs migrate to the stem and young leaves. Now, by passing through 3 stages in 8-13 days, nymph attains full grown size. The full grown nymph then moults, giving rise to winged adult hoppers. The whole life cycle is completed within 15-19 days. There is no feeding and egg laying in May-June. But they are crowded on the mango stem and undersurface of the leaves. On a slight disturbance they fly in all the direction. Normally, one generation is found but sometimes second generation starts with the onset of monsoon.
The nymphs and adults both are destructive stages which suck the cell-sap of young shoots, flowers and buds or entire inflorescence which dry and fall off. They secrete honey dew which covers the branches of the tree giving good surface for fungal growth. Thus, the growth of younger mango trees is hampered and older trees are unable to have much fruits. About 60% damage to mango crop is caused by mango hoppers.
Prevention and control :
- Over-crowding of trees should be avoided as far as possible because it helps in spreading the pests.
- The pest population can be reduced by spraying the trees with phosphomidon 0.02%, carbaryl 0.01% or endosulfan/dimethoate 0.03%.
- The trees should be sprayed with fish oil, resin wash or resin soap, kerosene or crude oil emulsion during winters before blossoms open.
- Natural enemies like Pipunculus sp. (Family: Pipunculidae, Order : Diptera) and caterpillars of Epipyrops sp. (Family : Epipyropidae, Order : Lepidoptera) which feed on adult and Dryinus sp. (Family : Dryinidae, Order : Hymenoptera) parasitizes the nymphs should be encouraged.
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