T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Hopper (Passionvine) Scolypopa australis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Superfamily: Fulgoroidea
Family: Ricaniidae
Genus: Scolypopa
Binomial name Scolypopa australis
Common names: Leafhopper, Nymphs are fluffy bums, Fluffy bums, planthoppers, passionvine hopper

They arrived in New Zealand in 1876, where they are among over 40 (mostly native) species of planthoppers.The nymphs are wingless and are informally known as fluffy bums. When sufficiently aroused they will hop off their plant "with a 'snap'".Like all planthoppers they suck plant sap. This leaves a honeydew secretion which bees gather. They are also known to cause honey poisoning. The adults look somewhat like a moth to the untrained eye.The nymphs abdominal fluff is in fact a tuft of wax filaments- probably an excretion product. The function is not certain but possibly provides the insect with a defence mechanism. A predator takes a bite and ends up with a mouthful of wax.

The females lay eggs on tree trunks or leaves. The eggs are covered with a white waxy secretion produced by the ovipositing female. These eggs are usually laid on leaves or barks of host plants, depend on species. They are in the form of egg patch and are, covered with waxy white materials. Each egg patch has about 30-80 eggs  (Photo below)







 


Egg-patch covered with white waxy secretion


The Passionvine nymphs known as Fluffy bums because of its tuft of wax filaments








An adult Scolypopa australis with aphids