Pyrilla perpusilla

ByDr. Girish Chandra


Pyrilla perpusilla

The Sugarcane Leafhopper

(Hemiptera: Lophopidae)


Host: This insect is a serious pest of sugarcane in northern India where it also ccasionally feeds on maize, millets, rice, barley, oats, sorghum, bajra and wild grasses.


Damage: The pest is found gregariously on the under surface of the leaves where they suck up plant sap that causes yellowing and eventually drying of leaves. Under low infestation yellow patches appear on the leaves. Photosynthesis is reduced resulting in the reduction of sucrose content of the juice by up to 30%. Hoppers secrete a sweet substance called honey dew that coats the leaves and attracts a blackish fungus, which reduces photosynthesis resulting in yield loss.


Life cycle: Adult hoppers are straw coloured to brownish, 7-8 mm long, with a pointed snout bearing piercing and sucking mouthparts. They are found gregariously and jump off readily when disturbed. Adults are active fliers, migrating from one crop to another and breed throughout the year. Eggs are light yellowish in colour, oval, one mm long and laid on the lower surface of the leaf, near the midrib in groups of about 20 eggs, which hatch in 6-15 days depending on temperature. Nymphs are initially greenish, later turn pale brownish, wingless and with a pair of anal filaments covered with whitish fluffy waxy material. There are 5 nymphal instars which take 40-60 days to complete development. Multiplication of the pest is favoured by high humidity and luxuriant plant growth as in heavily manured and irrigated field or in rainy season.


Distribution: The pest is found throughout the Indian subcontinent from Afghanistan to Burma and Thailand.


Control: The pest can be controlled by spraying 0.05% of parathion, malathion, thiodon, fenitrothion or rogor. Dusting the plants with 10% Aldrin or dieldrin also helps.


            Conservation of the following natural enemies helps in containing the pest:

Egg parasitoids: Tetrastichus pyrillae, Cheiloneurus pyrillae, Ooencyrtus pyrillae, O. pipilionus, Agoniaspis pyrillae.

Nymphal parasitoid: Lestodryinus pyrillae, Pyrilloxenos ompactus, Chlorodryinus pallidus.

Predators: Coccinella septempunctata, C. undecimpunctata,  Chilomenes sexmaculata, Brumus suturalis.

Egg-predators: Nimboa basipunctata, Goniopteryx pusana.


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Identification and Management of Horticultural Pests

Features: Nipa
By (author): A.M. Ranjith

This book has been written, primarily due to my own felt need to have a comprehensive text book on the pests of horticultural crops and methods to manage it, in the integrated way. Due to the widespread use of digital color photography and the good resolution that you get in even the basic level digital cameras, it is possible to get good photos. It was thus more of a need to have a text book to teach the UG and PG students, that this book was written. It was also necessary that any practicing field level worker like officers of the state department of Agriculture and commodity boards, and every practicing farmer with an ability to read English text book, should be guided into the basic facts about the pests of crops. It is most likely that most of the information is available in this book itself, as pest of some other crop. It will then be possible to read on the pest in that , and manage the pest effectively using the latest techniques available to the crop management expert.
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