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Passion vine hopper - Scolypopa australis

By N A Martin (2017)

Classification

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Class:
Insecta
Order:
Hemiptera
Family:
Ricaniidae
Scientific Name:
Scolypopa australis (Walker, 1851)
  • Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Common Names

Passion vine hopper, Fluffy bums (nymphs)
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Synonyms

Pochazia australis Walker, 1851
Flatoides australis Walker, 1858
Scolypopa urbana Stål, 1859

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Biostatus and Distribution

This adventive plant hopper from Australia has been in Zealand since before 1880 and is now widespread in lowland (below 500 m) areas of the North Island and in Nelson and Marlborough in the South Island. It occurs on its herbaceous, shrub and tree host plants in city gardens and parks as well as native ecosystems. Its feeding results in production of a lot of honeydew which makes plants sticky and black from sooty moulds.

Conservation status: Widespread, a pest on some garden and crop plants.

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Life Stages and Annual Cycle

Annual Cycle of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) in New Zealand. Image: Barry Eykel © Based on life cycle chart in DSIR Information series No. 105/35 (1981).
Annual Cycle of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) in New Zealand. Image: Barry Eykel © Based on life cycle chart in DSIR Information series No. 105/35 (1981).

The Passion vine hopper has one generation per year. It overwinters as eggs. The egg stage has an obligatory diapause (resting stage). Nymphs hatch in late spring and adults are present from summer until early winter. Adults and nymphs tend to aggregate on the actively growing shoots and leaves and feed on sap from the phloem.

The adults are about 5-6 mm long and have broad triangular forewings that are clear with a mottled dark brown-black pattern. The head, thorax (middle part of body) and abdomen are pale brown. They have three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings. They jump if disturbed as well as being able to fly. On the underside of the head the rostrum extends between their legs. It contains the stylets, long rods, that are used for feeding. Adults take two weeks to mature. Mating commences at dusk. Egg laying occurs in late afternoon and evening.

The female lays eggs preferentially in dead plant tissue including timber structures such as garden stakes, but will also lay in soft live plant stems and leaf midribs. The eggs are inserted in long rows. The sharp ovipositor prepares a hole into which is inserted the pale ovoid egg (about 1 mm long). The pulped material at the hole entrance is compacted to form a protective plug, though some fibres remain obvious.

Upon hatching, the newly emerged nymphs move to succulent shoots to feed. They often gather near the tips of the shoot. There are five nymphal instars (stages). They grow from 1 mm long to 5 mm and go from nymphal instar to the next by moulting. During moulting, the skin on the dorsal side splits and the next stage pulls itself out of the old skin. The nymphs are pale with brown markings and have a white tuft of white filaments on the end of the abdomen. They can move the tuft of filaments up and down. It is usually held upright. Like the adults, they have three pairs of legs and can jump. They also have a rostrum with stylets for feeding on plant sap.

Walking and flying
The nymphs and adults have three pairs of legs that are used for walking. When they are disturbed they can hop. The adults have two pairs of wings held over their body and used for flying.

Feeding
Like other Hemiptera, the Passion vine hopper has piercing and sucking mouth parts. The long stylets, special shaped rods, are held in the rostrum. When it wishes to feed, the bug moves the tip of the rostrum to a suitable part of the plant. The stylets are then gradually pushed into the plant. The stylets form two tubes, one through which saliva is injected into the plant and a second through which plants juices are sucked up into the insect. The Passion vine hopper feed on plant sap in the phloem. Excess liquid is secreted as honeydew. They produce a lot of honeydew that coats plant leaves. Black sooty moulds may grow on it.

  • Drawing of an adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Des Helmore © DSIR Information series No. 105/35 (1981)
    Drawing of an adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Des Helmore © DSIR Information series No. 105/35 (1981)
  • Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adults and nymphs of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adults and nymphs of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adult Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Oviposition scars in a dead twig made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Oviposition scars in a dead twig made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Oviposition scars in a dead twig made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Oviposition scars in a dead twig made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Eggs of Passion vine hoppesr, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) exposed in a dead twig. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Eggs of Passion vine hoppesr, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) exposed in a dead twig. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Eggs of Passion vine hoppesr, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) exposed in a dead twig. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Eggs of Passion vine hoppesr, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) exposed in a dead twig. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) in mid rib of leaf of Karaka, Corynocarpus laevigatus (Corynocarpaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) in mid rib of leaf of Karaka, Corynocarpus laevigatus (Corynocarpaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) in mid rib of leaf of Karaka, Corynocarpus laevigatus (Corynocarpaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) in mid rib of leaf of Karaka, Corynocarpus laevigatus (Corynocarpaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • First instar nymphs of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a young shoot. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    First instar nymphs of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a young shoot. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • First instar nymphs of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a young shoot. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    First instar nymphs of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a young shoot. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Young nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Young nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Young nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Young nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Glossy karamu, Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Glossy karamu, Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Nymphs and moulted skins of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs and moulted skins of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adults, nymphs and moulted skins of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adults, nymphs and moulted skins of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • A recently moulted adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) with wings still to fully expand. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    A recently moulted adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) with wings still to fully expand. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Side view of a recently moulted adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a fern frond: the wings have fully expanded, but they still have to acquire pigment Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Side view of a recently moulted adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a fern frond: the wings have fully expanded, but they still have to acquire pigment Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Recognition

Of the three common Australian plant hoppers, adult Passion vine hoppers are the most distinctive and easiest to recognise. They have transparent wings with mainly dark brown-black markings. The wings are held over their body like a low tent. The head and body are pale brown. The Green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae). and Grey hopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae), are as their name suggests green and blue-grey respectively. The wings are held over their body like a steep roof.

The nymphs of the Passion vine hopper require a little more skill to identify. They are often called ‘fluffy bums’ because of their fluffy wax tail. Both the Green and Grey planthoppers also have fluffy wax tails, but the tail of the Passion vine hopper sticks up most of the time, while the tail of Green planthopper nymphs tends to lie flat. The larger Passion nymphs are red-brown with pale markings. The nymphs of the Green planthopper may be green or pale with a few red markings. The nymphs of the Grey planthopper are mostly covered with lots of wax. They have a fluffy wax tail that is usually held flat and towards the front they may have wax horn-like structures.

  • Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adults and nymphs of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adults and nymphs of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adult Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Small-leaved pohuehue, Muehlenbeckia complexa (Polygonaceae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Small-leaved pohuehue, Muehlenbeckia complexa (Polygonaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adult Grey planthoppers, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae). An adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Ricaniidae) also present. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult Grey planthoppers, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae). An adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Ricaniidae) also present. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adult green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae): note that descending from the head, the proboscis that guides the stylets used for feeding. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae): note that descending from the head, the proboscis that guides the stylets used for feeding. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Top view of an adult green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Top view of an adult green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae): note the fluffy wax tails held upright. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae): note the fluffy wax tails held upright. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adult and nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae): note the nymphs with fluffy wax tails held upright. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult and nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae): note the nymphs with fluffy wax tails held upright. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Glossy karamu, Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Glossy karamu, Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Small nymphs of green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) and moulted skins on underside of a leaf of Coastal five-finger, Pseudopanax lessonii (Araliaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Small nymphs of green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) and moulted skins on underside of a leaf of Coastal five-finger, Pseudopanax lessonii (Araliaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymph of green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) on leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Nymph of green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) on leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymph of green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) on the underside of a leaf of Solanum nodiflorum (Solanaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymph of green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) on the underside of a leaf of Solanum nodiflorum (Solanaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Side view of nymph of green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) on the underside of a leaf stalk of Solanum nodiflorum (Solanaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Side view of nymph of green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) on the underside of a leaf stalk of Solanum nodiflorum (Solanaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymph of Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Marsh ribbonwood, Plagianthus divaricatus (Malvaceae): side view showing the fluffy wax on the upper side of the body.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Nymph of Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Marsh ribbonwood, Plagianthus divaricatus (Malvaceae): side view showing the fluffy wax on the upper side of the body. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Colony of nymphs of Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Marsh ribbonwood, Plagianthus divaricatus (Malvaceae): note all the fluffy white wax.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Colony of nymphs of Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Marsh ribbonwood, Plagianthus divaricatus (Malvaceae): note all the fluffy white wax. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Two nymphs of Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Ngaio, Myoporum laetum (Scrophulariaceae). One nymph of the green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) is also on the leaf: note the green wax-free body and the fluffy tail held close to the surface of the leaf.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Two nymphs of Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Ngaio, Myoporum laetum (Scrophulariaceae). One nymph of the green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Flatidae) is also on the leaf: note the green wax-free body and the fluffy tail held close to the surface of the leaf. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs of Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Willow herb, Epilobium sp. (Onagraceae). A nymph of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Ricaniidae) is also present (white arrow): note the wax free body and the upright fluffy tail.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of Grey planthopper, Anzora unicolor (Flatidae) on Willow herb, Epilobium sp. (Onagraceae). A nymph of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Ricaniidae) is also present (white arrow): note the wax free body and the upright fluffy tail. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Natural Enemies

Pathogens, parasitoids and predators have been found. In addition, Rob Cumber in his 1966 paper reported that wood boring larvae of caterpillars and beetles may incidentally kill overwintering eggs. This kind of unintential killing is sometimes called ‘malentities’.

Pathogens
Five fungal pathogens of the Passion vine hopper are known in New Zealand. Hirsutella species may be seen on dead adults and nymphs on the underside of leaves in the Autumn. A survey of Kiwifruit Orchards reported by Marshall and colleages in 2003 found that several strains of an insect pathogen, Lecanicillium muscarium (Petch) Zare & W. Gams, were present. One of the strains was later made into a commercial pesticide for control of Passion vine hoppers in Kiwifruit orchards.

Parasitoids
Two wasp egg parasitoids of the Passion vine hopper are known in New Zealand. They can kill a high proportion of eggs. Ron Cumber in his 1966 paper reports that Centrodora scolypopae Vallentine, 1966 was first found in August 1962 at Paihia, Bay of Island, Northland. The female wasp is much larger than the male. There may be 1-4 wasps in a Passion vine hopper egg. Parasitised eggs are pale with a dark half band at one end. Parasitoid development is delayed so that the adults emerge in the late summer when new season passion vine hopper eggs are available. North of Auckland upto 87% of Passion vine hopper eggs may be parasitised. Dr Gerad in one of her 1989 papers on the egg parasitoid, found depth in a plant of Passion vine hopper eggs varied with host plant and that the proportion of eggs that were parasitised was greater in shallow eggs.

The second parasitoid Ablerus sp. was discovered by SJ Harcourt while doing research for his MSc at Auckland University and published in 1995. John Charles and Doug Allen in reported in 2004 that both Ablerus sp. and Centrodora scolypopae were widespread in the North Island.

Predators
One of the predators, an unnamed mite, Pyemotes sp. (Acari: Pyemotidae) also feeds on eggs during the winter. It will feed on eggs that have been parasitised.

One bird and several spiders and predatory insects have been recorded feeding on Passion vine hoppers.

  • Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
    Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
  • Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
    Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
  • Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
    Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
  • Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by a fungal pathogen.
    Adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by a fungal pathogen.
  • Nymph of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
    Nymph of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
  • Nymph of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
    Nymph of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) killed by Hirsutella saussurei (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae).
  • An Aussie Bronze Jumper, Helpis minitabunda (Salticidae ) spider feeding on an adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    An Aussie Bronze Jumper, Helpis minitabunda (Salticidae ) spider feeding on an adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • An Aussie Bronze Jumper, Helpis minitabunda (Salticidae ) spider feeding on an adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    An Aussie Bronze Jumper, Helpis minitabunda (Salticidae ) spider feeding on an adult Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Fifth instar nymph of Schellenberg's soldier bug, Oechalia schellenbergii (Hempitera: Pentatomidae) that had fed on a Passion vine hopper nymph. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Fifth instar nymph of Schellenberg's soldier bug, Oechalia schellenbergii (Hempitera: Pentatomidae) that had fed on a Passion vine hopper nymph. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Host Plants

Passion vine hoppers are found on many plants including native species. The list of host plants is far from complete. It may be easier to list plants on which Passion vine hoppers do not feed!

They occur on garden plants, and are often present in large numbers. Their feeding can cause shoots to wilt and young leaves to be damaged. The secretion of honeydew causes plants to become sticky and sooty mould fungi may develop. Sooty mould on fruit of commercial crops of Kiwifruit can cause rejection of fruit for export.

As well as causing feeding damage to plants, egg laying also damages soft growths such as narrow stems, leaf veins and stalks and tendrils.

Table: Host plants of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) from Plant-SyNZ database (24 September 2017). The reliability score shows the quality of evidence for the host association (1-10, 10=high).
Common Name(s)Scientific NameFamilyReliability IndexBiostatus
Shining spleenwort, Huruhuruwhenua, Parenako, Paretao, Pānako, Paranako, Paretao, Urūru whenuaAsplenium oblongifolium ColensoAspleniaceae10endemic
Sickle spleenwort, Petako, PeretaoAsplenium polyodon G.Forst.Aspleniaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
Lance fern, Nini, ReretiBlechnum chambersii TindaleBlechnaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
Palm fern, Horokio, Kiokio, Korokio, Koropio, Mokimoki, Piupiu, Rautao, TupariBlechnum novae-zelandiae T.C. Chambers et P.A. FarrentBlechnaceae10endemic
Silver fern, Kaponga, Kātote, Ponga, PungaCyathea dealbata (G.Forst.) Sw.Cyatheaceae10endemic
Black tree fern, Black mamaku, Korau, Mamaku, Pitau, KatātāCyathea medullaris (G.Forst.) Sw.Cyatheaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
Rough tree fern, Harsh tree fern, Tirawa, Wheki, Atewheki, Pakue, Pēhiakura, Tio, Tūākura, Tūōkura, Uruuruwhenua, WekīDicksonia squarrosa (G.Forst.) Sw.Dicksoniaceae10endemic
Male fernDryopteris filix-mas (L.) SchottDryopteridaceae10naturalised
Feather fern, Gully fern, Pākau, Pākau roharoha, Pakauroharoha, PiupiuPneumatopteris pennigera (G.Forst.) HolttumThelypteridaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
Black shield fern, Common shield fern, Shore shiel, Pikopiko, Pipiko, TutokePolystichum richardsii (Hook.) J. SmithDryopteridaceae10endemic
Austral bracken, Bracken, Bracken fern, Common fern, Manehu, rahurahu, Rārahu, Rarauhe, Rarauhe-mahuika, TākakaPteridium esculentum (G.Forst.) CockayneDennstaedtiaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
MapleAcer sp.Sapindaceae7unknown
Kiwifruit, Kiwi berryActinidia arguta (Siebold & Zucc.) Planch. ex Miq.Actinidiaceae10cultivated
Cruel plant, Kapok vine, Moth plant, White bladder flowerAraujia horturum E.Fourn.Apocynaceae10naturalised
Wineberry, Mako, MakomakoAristotelia serrata (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) W.R.B.OliverElaeocarpaceae10endemic
Renga lily, Rock lily, Māikaika, RengarengaArthropodium cirratum (G.Forst.) R.Br.Asparagaceae10endemic
Bridal veil creeper, SmilaxAsparagus asparagoides (L.) DruceAsparagaceae10naturalised
AsparagusAsparagus officinalis L.Asparagaceae10naturalised
BarberryBerberis glaucocarpa StapfBerberidaceae10naturalised
Common barberry, European berberyBerberis vulgaris L.Berberidaceae10naturalised
Bushman's friend, Kōuaha, Pukapuka, Pukariao, Puke-rangiora, Rangiora, Raurākau, Raurēkau, Whārangi, Whārangi-tawhitoBrachyglottis repanda J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Compositae10endemic
Buddleia, Butterfly bush, Summer lilacBuddleja davidii Franch.Scrophulariaceae10naturalised
Bitou bush, Boneseed, Higgin's curse, Jungle flower, Salt bushChrysanthemoides monilifera (L.) T. Norl. subsp. monilifera (L.) T. Norl.Compositae10naturalised
CitrusCitrus sp.Rutaceae7unknown
White clematis, Pikiarero, Pohue, Popokonui-a-hura, Pūānanga, Puapua, Puatataua, Puataua, Puatauataua, PuawānangaClematis paniculata J.F.Gmel.Ranunculaceae10endemic
Tree coprosma, Mamangi, MāmāngiCoprosma arborea KirkRubiaceae10endemic
Kākawariki, Kanono, Kapukiore, Karamū-kueo, Kueo (fruit), Manono, Pāpāuma, Raurēkau, ToherāoaCoprosma grandifolia Hook.f.Rubiaceae10endemic
Shining karamu, Kākaramū, Kākarangū, Karamū, Kāramuramu, Karangū, PatutiketikeCoprosma lucida J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Rubiaceae10endemic
Large seeded coprosma, Kākaramū, Kākarangū, Karamū, Kāramuramu, KarangūCoprosma macrocarpa CheesemanRubiaceae10endemic
Glossy karamu, Kākaramū, Kākarangū, Karamū, Kāramuramu, KarangūCoprosma robusta RaoulRubiaceae10endemic
Cabbage tree, Giant dracena, Grass palm, Palm lily, Sago palm, Ti, Kāuka, Kiokio, Kōuka, Tī, Tī awe, Ti kōuka, Tī para, Tī pua, Tī rākau, WhanakeCordyline australis (G.Forst.) Endl.Asparagaceae10endemic
Dwarf cabbage tree, Short-stemmed cabbage tree, Ti rauriki, Kōpuapua, Korokio, Mauku, Tī awe, Tī kapu, Tī koraha, Tī kupenga, Tī papa, Tī raurikiCordyline pumilio Hook.f.Asparagaceae10endemic
Tree tutu, Pūhou, Tāweku, Tūpākihi, TutuCoriaria arborea Linds.Coriariaceae10endemic
Karaka nut, Karaka, KōpīCorynocarpus laevigatus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Corynocarpaceae10endemic
Broom, English broom, Scotch broom, Wild broomCytisus scoprarius (L.) LinkLeguminosae10naturalised
New Zealand mahogany, Kohe, Kohekohe, Koheriki, Kohepi (flowers), Kohepu (flowers), Māota (flowers)Dysoxylum spectabile (G.Forst.) Hook.f.Meliaceae10endemic
Broad-leaved fleabane, Tall fleabane, Hāka, Kaingarua, Porerarua, PouhawaikiErigeron sumatrensis Retz.Compositae10naturalised
Eucalypt, Flowering gum, Gum, StringybarkEucalyptus sp.Myrtaceae7unknown
KiekieFreycinetia banksii A.Cunn.Pandanaceae9endemic
Tree fuchsia, Hōnā (fruit), Kōhutuhutu, Kōnini (fruit), Kōtukutuku, Māti (fruit), Tākawa (fruit)Fuchsia excorticata (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) L.f.Onagraceae10endemic
Cutty grass, Tarangarara, Tarangārara, Tatangi, Toetoe kiwi, Toetoe mātā, Toetoe ngaungau, Toetoe tara-ngāraraGahnia lacera (A.R. Rich.) Steud.Cyperaceae10endemic
New Zealand privet, Hangehange, Hengahenga, Pāhengahenga, Pāpā, Pāpāhenga, Pāpāuma, WhangewhangeGeniostoma ligustrifolium A.Cunn. var. ligustrifoliumLoganiaceae10endemic
Akakōpuka, Akapuka, Puka, PukateaGriselinia lucida G.Forst.Griseliniaceae10endemic
Shrubby haloragis, ToatoaHaloragis erecta (Banks ex Murray) OkenHaloragaceae10endemic
Pigeonwood, Kaiwhir, Kaiwhiria, Kōporokaiwhiri, Pōporokaiwhiri, Pōporokaiwhiria, Porokaiwhiri, Porokaiwhiria, PoroporokaiwhiriaHedycarya arborea J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Monimiaceae10endemic
Kahili ginger, Wild gingerHedychium gardnerianum Ker Gawl.Zingiberaceae10naturalised
Lacebark, Hohere, Hoihere, Houhere, Houhi, Houhi ongaonga, Houī, Ongaonga, Whauahi, WheuhiHoheria populnea A.CunnMalvaceae10endemic
Ragwort, Saint James' wort, Tansy ragwortJacobaea vulgaris Gaertn.Compositae10naturalised
New Zealand honeysuckle, RewarewaKnightia excelsa R.Br.Proteaceae10endemic
Acrid lettuceLactuca virosa L.Compositae10naturalised
Tall mingimingi, Hukihukiraho, Kaikaiatua, Mānuka-rauriki, Mikimiki, Mingi, Mingimingi, Ngohungohu, TūmingiLeucopogon fasciculatus (G.Forst.) A.Rich.Ericaceae10endemic
New Zealand iris, Mānga-a-Huripapa, Mikoikoi, Tūkāuki, TūrutuLibertia ixioides (G.Forst.) Spreng.Iridaceae10endemic
Broadleaf privet, Tree privetLigustrum lucidum W.T.AitonOleaceae10naturalised
Chinese privet, Small-leaf privetLigustrum sinense Lour.Oleaceae10naturalised
Japanese honeysuckleLonicera japonica Thunb.Caprifoliaceae10naturalised
Apple, Crab-appleMalus ×domestica Borkh.Rosaceae10naturalised
Whiteywood, Hinahina, Inaina, Inihina, Māhoe, Moeahu, KaiwetaMelicytus ramiflorus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Violaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
NgaioMyoporum laetum G.Forst.Scrophulariaceae10endemic
Red mapou, Red matipo, Māpau, Māpou, Mataira, Matipou, Takapou, Tāpau, TīpauMyrsine australis (A.Rich.) AllanPrimulaceae10endemic
Akewharangi, Heketara, Ngungu, Taraheke, Tātaraheke, Wharangi-piroOlearia rani (A. Cunn.) DruceCompositae10endemic
New Zealand jasmine, Akakaikiore, Akakiore, Kaihua, Kaikū, Kaiwhiria, Poapoa, Tautauā, Tawhiwhi, Tūtae-kererūParsonsia heterophylla A. CunninghamApocynaceae10endemic
AvocadoPersea americana Mill.Lauraceae7naturalised
Coastal flax, Mountain flax, Kōrari-tuauru, WhararikiPhormium cookianum Le JolisHemerocallidaceae10endemic
Flax, Lowland flax, New Zealand flax, Swamp flax, Harakeke, Harareke, KōrariPhormium tenax J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Hemerocallidaceae10endemic
Pepper tree, Kawa, KawakawaPiper excelsum G.Forst.Piperaceae10endemic
Kaikaro, Karo, KīhihiPittosporum crassifolium Banks & Sol. ex A.Cunn.Pittosporaceae10endemic
Lemonwood, Kīhihi, TarataPittosporum eugenioides A.Cunn.Pittosporaceae10endemic
Marsh ribbonwood, Salt marsh ribbonwood, Houi, Mākaka, RunaPlagianthus divaricatus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Malvaceae10endemic
Golden tainui, Gum-digger's soap, Kūmarahou, Kūmararaunui, PāpapaPomaderris kumeraho A.Cunn.Rhamnaceae10endemic
CherryPrunus sp. 'cherry'Rosaceae7naturalised
Five-finger, Houhou, Parapara, Puahou, Tauparapara, Whau, Whaupaku, Whauwhau, WhauwhaupakuPseudopanax arboreus (Murray) PhillipsonAraliaceae10endemic
Coastal five finger, Houmāpara, Houpara, Houparapara, Kokotai, Oho, Parapara, WhauwhauPseudopanax lessonii (DC.) K. KochAraliaceae10endemic
Bush lawyer, Taraheke, Taramoa, Tātaraheke, TātarāmoaRubus cissoides A.Cunn.Rosaceae10endemic
BlackberryRubus fruticosus L.Rosaceae10naturalised
Brittle willow, Crack willowSalix ×fragilis L.Salicaceae10naturalised
Australian fireweedSenecio bipinnatisectus BelcherCompositae10naturalised
FireweedSenecio esleri C.J.WebbCompositae10naturalised
Flannel leaf, Kerosene plant, Tobacco weed, Wild tobacco tree, Woolly nightshadeSolanum mauritianum Scop.Solanaceae10naturalised
Small-flowered nightshade, Pōporo, Poroporo, Raupeti, RemuroaSolanum nodiflorum Jacq.Solanaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
Bushy starwort, Sea asterSymphyotrichum subulatum (Michx.) G.L.NesomCompositae10naturalised
Wandering Jew, Wandering WillieTradescantia fluminensis Vell.Commelinaceae10naturalised
Broadleaf cumbungi, Bulrush, Kārito, Koare, Kōpūngāwhā, Kōpūpūngāwhā, Ngāwhā, RaupōTypha orientalis C.PreslTyphaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
Purple top, South American vervain, Tall verbenaVerbena bonariensis L.Verbenaceae10naturalised
Hebe, KōkōmukaVeronica macrocarpa VahlPlantaginaceae10endemic
New Zealand oak, Kauere, PūririVitex lucens KirkLabiatae10endemic
GrapeVitis vinifera L.Vitaceae10naturalised
  • Dead flower stalk with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Dead flower stalk with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Live and dead stems with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Live and dead stems with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Dead stem with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Dead stem with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Live leaf with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Live leaf with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Puka, Griselinia lucida (Griseliniaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Puka, Griselinia lucida (Griseliniaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Lemonwood, Pittosporum eugenioides (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Lemonwood, Pittosporum eugenioides (Pittosporaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Ngaio, Myoporum laetum (Scrophulariaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Ngaio, Myoporum laetum (Scrophulariaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Ngaio, Myoporum laetum (Scrophulariaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Ngaio, Myoporum laetum (Scrophulariaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Kohekohe, Dysoxylum spectabile (Meliaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Kohekohe, Dysoxylum spectabile (Meliaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Hebe, Veronica macrocarpa (Plantaginaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Hebe, Veronica macrocarpa (Plantaginaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adult and nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae): note the nymphs with fluffy wax tails held upright. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult and nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae): note the nymphs with fluffy wax tails held upright. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Young nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Young nymphs of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adult Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on leaves of a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on leaves of a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Glossy karamu, Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Glossy karamu, Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs and moulted skins of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on the underside of a leaf of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs and moulted skins of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on the underside of a leaf of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Clematis paniculata (Ranunculaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Clematis paniculata (Ranunculaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a shoot of Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on the underside of a leaf of Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on the underside of a leaf of Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on the underside of a frond of Shining spleenwort, Asplenium oblongifolium (Aspleniaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on the underside of a frond of Shining spleenwort, Asplenium oblongifolium (Aspleniaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on the underside of a frond of Silver fern, Cyathea dealbata (Cyatheaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on the underside of a frond of Silver fern, Cyathea dealbata (Cyatheaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a frond of Silver fern, Cyathea dealbata (Cyatheaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a frond of Silver fern, Cyathea dealbata (Cyatheaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adults and nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a stem of Raupō, Typha orientalis (Typhaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adults and nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a stem of Raupō, Typha orientalis (Typhaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adults and nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a stem of Raupō, Typha orientalis (Typhaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adults and nymphs of the Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a stem of Raupō, Typha orientalis (Typhaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Honeydew Feeding

Passion vine hoppers feed on the sap in the phloem of plants and excrete excess water and sugars. This is called honeydew and often coats the leaves of plants. Ants and honey bees have been recorded feeding on the honeydew.

Source of poisonous honey
In 1947, C.R. Paterson published a paper that showed that poisonous honey was made by honey bees feeding on honeydew secreted by Passion vine hoppers feeding on Tree tutu, Coriaria arborea Linds. (Coriariaceae). They fed on the honeydew at a time when nectar from flowers was scarce.

Table: Feeders on honeydew of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae), from Plant-SyNZ database (24 September 2017). The reliability index shows the quality of evidence for the host association (0-10, 10=high quality).
Scientific NameCommon NameClassificationHoneydew feedingReliability
Index
Biostatus
Apis mellifera (Linnaeus, 1758)Honey bee (Wasp)Hymenoptera: Apidaefeeding on honeydew on leaves 10adventive
Iridomyrmex sp.Flat-backed tyrant ant (Wasp)Hymenoptera: Formicidaefeeding on honeydew 7adventive
Linepithema humile (Mayr, 1868)Argentine ant (Wasp)Hymenoptera: Formicidaeassociated with insect producing honeydew 10adventive
Nylanderia sp. (Wasp)Hymenoptera: Formicidaeassociated with insect producing honeydew 7adventive
Tetramorium grassii Emery, 1895Pennant ant (Wasp)Hymenoptera: Formicidaeassociated with insect producing honeydew 10adventive
  • Honeydew secreted by Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Puriri, Vitex lucens (Labiatae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Honeydew secreted by Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Puriri, Vitex lucens (Labiatae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Honeydew secreted by Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Puriri, Vitex lucens (Labiatae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Honeydew secreted by Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of Puriri, Vitex lucens (Labiatae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Control

Commercial Crops
Where passion vine hoppers are a problem on commercial crops, growers should consult their professional organisation and/or product group for control option.

Home Garden
Passion hoppers may be found on plants in most gardens. If possible, avoid growing plants that are very susceptible to passion vine hoppers. If you feel that you need to use pesticides to assist with their control, consult your local horticultural supplier or garden centre for suitable products.

You need to be aware that the older nymphs and adults are very mobile and can reinfest plants from nearby areas. If you want to apply a pesticide to control passion vine hopper, the most effective stages to target are the very small nymphs.

Non-pesticide options
One way to reduce the populations of passion vine hoppers is to remove all the bits of plant with eggs. Wait until the adults have finished laying eggs, about mid to late May. Then carefully go round the garden and cut off all the dead and live stems and leaves with their typical egg scars and tufts. You can bury them or destroy them in some other way.

You could even provide suitable egg laying material for the adults and harvest it after egg laying has finished. Look to see what they like in your area and hang small bundles of it plants with passion vine hopper. Start this about mid-February.

Having collected all the eggs, you could try to enhance their biological control by increasing the population of egg parasitoids. Keep all the bits of plants with eggs in a container. Ensure that they remain slightly damp, but not obviously wet and that the tiny newly hatched passion vine hopper nymphs cannot get out. Allow the nymphs to hatch and die, then in January open up the container outside. With luck the tiny egg parasitoids will hatch out in late January and February and find new passion vine hopper eggs in which to lay their eggs.

A bundle of dead stems with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Bundles of this kind of dead stem would be suitable for making an egg trap.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
A bundle of dead stems with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Bundles of this kind of dead stem would be suitable for making an egg trap. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Additional Information

Research Project
The overwintering eggs enter an obligatory diapause. This means that egg development cannot be completed until after certain environmental conditions have been met. It could be day length exceeding a particular length, or that the eggs have experienced a certain number of days below a particular temperature. It would be useful to know the key environmental factors that trigger the end of diapause. It would also be interesting to know if all eggs enter diapause irrespective of environmental conditions or if all eggs enter diapause irrespective of environment.

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Information Sources

Charles JG, Allan DJ. 2004. Passionvine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Walker) (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae), egg parasitism by Aphelinidae (Hymenoptera) in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist. 27: 83-89.

Cumber RA. 1966.Factors influencing population levels of Scolypopa australis walker (Hemiptera-Homoptera: Ricaniidae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Science 9: 336-356.

Deitz LL. 1981. Passionvine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Walker), life cycle. DSIR Information series No. 105/35.

Gerard PJ. 1989a. Biology and morphology of immature stages of Centrodora scolypopae (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae). New Zealand Entomologist 12:24-29.

Gerard PJ. 1989b. Influence of egg depth in host plants on parasitism of Scolypopa australis (Homoptera: Ricaniidae) by Centrodora scolypopae (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae. New Zealand Entomologist 12:30-34.

Hill RL, Steven D. 1989. Scolypopa australis (Walker), passionvine hopper (Homoptera: Ricaniidae). A review of biological control of invertebrate pests and weeds in New Zealand 1874-1987. Cameron, P.J.; Hill, R.L.; Bain, J.; Thomas, W.P. (eds.). Technical communication, CAB International Institute of Biological Control 10, CAB International, Wallingford: 241-244.

Logan DP, Rowe CA, Connolly PG. 2017. Cold hardiness and effect of winter chilling on mortality of passionvine hopper (Scolypopa australis) eggs. New Zealand Plant Protection 70: 120-130.

Marshall RK, Lester MT, Glare TR, Christeller JT. 2003. The fungus, Lecanicillium muscarium, is an entomopathogen of passionvine hopper (Scolypopa australis). New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 31(1): 1-7.

Paterson CR. 1947. A recent outbreak of honey poisoning. Part 4. The source of the toxic honey - field observations. New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology Section A. 29 (3):125-129.

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Acknowledgements

The New Zealand Plant & Food Research Institute Limited (Plant & Food Research) for permission to use photographs.

David Logan, Plant & Food Research for helpful comments on a draft manuscript.

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Other Images

  • Dead twig of Lemonwood, Pittosporum eugenioides, with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Dead twig of Lemonwood, Pittosporum eugenioides, with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Underside of a frond of Hound's tongue fern, Microsorum pustulatum (Polypodiaceae) with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Underside of a frond of Hound's tongue fern, Microsorum pustulatum (Polypodiaceae) with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Dead stems with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Dead stems with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Leaf with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Leaf with oviposition scars made by a female Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adults and a nymph of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adults and a nymph of Passion vine hopper, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a leaf of New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax (Hemerocallidaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Adult of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Adult of Passion vine hoppers, Scolypopa australis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) on a cabbage tree, Cordyline australis (Asparagaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Suggested Citation

NA Martin. 2017. Passion vine hopper - Scolypopa australis. Interesting Insects and other Invertebrates. New Zealand Arthropod Factsheet Series Number 111. http://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch.co.nz/Index.html. Date Accessed. ISSN 1179-643X.

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