|Crop Knowledge Master|
Lamenia caliginea (Stal)
|A Derbid Planthopper|
Jayma L. Martin Kessing, Educational Specialist
Ronald F.L. Mau, Extension Entomologist
Department of Entomology
In Hawaii, this pest has been recorded on banana, mango, noni (Morinda citrifolia), and taro (dasheen). Outside of Hawaii, it is a pest of Hernandia, Calophyllum, Barringtonia racemosa, mango, taro, and Messerschmidia.
This planthopper is present in areas through out the Pacific and Micronesia including Guam, Samoa, and the Marshall Islands. It was reported on Kauai in 1970 (Gagn, 1972), and it is believed that this planthopper did not spread to the other Hawaiian Islands. It was the first planthopper belonging to the Derbidae family reported in the state.
Planthoppers suck plant juices from the phloem of a plant. This planthopper, like others belonging to its taxonomic family, feeds from leaf tissues. They are often found feeding along the underside midrib of leaves of large-leaved plants such as banana (O'Brien and Wilson,1985).
Some planthoppers produce honeydew, a sweet and watery excrement that serves as the substrate for the growth of sooty mold. Sooty mold blackens the leaf, decreases photosynthesis activity, decreases vigor, and often causes disfigurement of the host.. The production of honeydew by derbid planthoppers, such as this pest, is unknown. However, abundant honeydew production is thought to be a liability to derbid planthoppers because of their restricted quarters underneath bark during development (O'Brien and Wilson, 1985).
There is very little information on the biology and life cycle of planthoppers except for some significant economic species. The descriptions given below are general to planthoppers and are adapted from descriptions given by O'Brien and Wilson (1985). The metamorphosis of plant hoppers is gradual and inconspicuous. In most species, there is one generation per year, even in the tropics (O'Brien and Wilson, 1985).
The way in which eggs are laid by this species is unknown. Planthoppers may glue their eggs to a substrate, insert them into plant tissue, or drop them into leaf litter or plant crevices. Eggs may be covered with wax or saw dust or left exposed (O'Brien and Wilson, 1985). Planthoppers belonging to another taxonomic family, Achilidae, in which the nymphs are thought to feed on the same substrate as this derbid planthopper, coats their eggs with bark material then drops them into leaf litter (Fletcher, 1979). It may be possible that Lamenia caliginea does the same.
Characteristic to the taxonomic family this planthopper belongs to (Derbidae), nymphs live under bark or in holes in dead wood where they are thought to feed on fungal growths (O'Brien and Wilson, 1985). There are five nymphal stages, or instars.
Fennah (1956) segregated eight subspecies of Lamenia caliginea found in Micronesia.
Some derbid planthoppers rub specialized areas of their wings together to produce a stridulation loud enough to be heard by man. However, it is not known whether Lamenia caliginea produces an audible noise (O'Brien and Wilson, 1985). Derbids are also most active and fly at dusk.
Planthoppers produce a powdery wax that is exuded from their abdomen. The wax may be used for several functions such as protection and egg attachment to different substrates. Subterranean nymphs and nymphs inhabiting wood use the wax to line cavities and provide resistance to moisture (O'Brien and Wilson, 1985).
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Fletcher, M.J. 1979. Egg types and oviposition behavior in some Fulgorid leafhoppers (Homoptera, Fulgoridae). Aust. Entomol. Mag. 6: 13-18.
Gagn, W. 1972. Notes and Exhibitions: Lamenia caliginea (Stl). Proc. Hawaiian Entomol. Soc. 21(2): 149.
O'Brien, L.B. and S.W. Wilson. 1985. Chapter 4 Planthopper Systematics and External Morphology. pp. 61-102. In: The Leafhoppers and Planthoppers (Eds. L.R. Nault and J.G. Rodriguez). John Wiley & Sons: New York, Chichester, Brisbane, Toronto, Singapore. 500 pages.