The Mango Hoppers, Idioscopus niveosparus; Idioscopus clypealis; Amritodus atkinsoni; belonging to the Family Cicadellidae of the Order Hemiptera, are inflorescence and fruit feeders. This pest feeds on the mango tree’s leaves, stems, inflorescence, and fruits and can reduce the yield and quality of the crop. This pest is also known to harbor several plant viruses, which can further degrade the yields.
They can jump up to 10 cm in height, enabling them to move quickly and easily between plants. To effectively manage this pest, it is important to understand its life cycle, its preferred habitats, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Mango Hopper Pest in Mango crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Mango Hoppers Pest Management
Life Cycle of Mango Hoppers Pest in Mango Crop
- Egg: The female adult lays eggs in the young leaves, flowers, crevices and cracks of shoots, and unopened flowers. The nymphs hatch out of the eggs within one week.
- Nymph: The nymphs undergo five instars in two weeks and cannot fly and move rapidly like adults.
- Adult: The adults can jump by making a unique clicking sound, fly up to a short distance, and land back on the plant. The adult stage is the most destructive stage of the mango hopper. This pest is often observed in the February-March months during the flowering and fruiting stages of the plant.
Occurrence of Mango Hoppers Pest in Mango Crop
- Location of Mango Hopper pest: This pest is found to infest mango crops in India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia, and the United States. In India, the pest infests the crops in the states, especially Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra.
- Host range: The pest primarily infests mango crops, but it can also feed on other crops such as Citrus, Guava, Papaya, Coffee, Coconut, and Banana.
Factors Favoring the Population Increase of Mango Hoppers Pest in Mango Crop
- High temperatures, heavy rainfalls, and high relative humidity can create a favorable environment for the hoppers to reproduce since they need water to breed and lay eggs.
- Inadequate or improper pruning, overcrowding of trees, inadequate or improper use of pesticides, and unsuitable or poor-quality fertilizers can create a favorable environment for the hoppers.
- Predators like spiders, beetles, and wasps can feed on the hoppers and reduce their numbers.
Identification of Mango Hoppers Pest in Mango Crop
- Eggs: They are small, white in color, and spherical in shape.
- Nymphs: They are very active, Pale yellow or light green, and have short antennae and wing pads.
- Adults: They are generally dark green or brown and have long antennae and wings.
- I. niveosparus – They have white and wavy bands on their wings and three spots on their scutellum.
- I. clypealis – They have a dark spot on the vertex and two spots on their scutellum.
- A. atkinsoni – They have only two spots on their scutellum.
Damage Symptoms of Mango Hoppers Pest in Mango Crop
- The nymphs and adults of this pest puncture and suck the sap from young and tender parts of the plant, thereby destroying the inflorescence and causing premature fruit drop.
- This leads to the drying and withering of flowers and their buds.
- They secrete honeydew which causes the sooty mould to grow on the foliage and other parts of the plant.
- In the Non-flowering season, the hoppers hide in the cracks and crevices on the plants’ bark.
- A unique clicking sound is produced when the hoppers move among the foliage.