Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

<i>Siphanta acuta</i> (Walker), type species of <i>Siphanta</i>.

Siphanta acuta (Walker), type species of Siphanta.


Regional Maps

Genus Siphanta Stål, 1862

Compiler and date details

3 March 2011 - Murray J. Fletcher


Taxonomic Decision for Synonymy



This is the largest genus of Flatidae in Australia with 41 described species distributed in all states (Fletcher 1985, Fletcher 2002). Species are also known from the islands of Torres Strait and New Guinea. Only one species has not yet been recorded in Australia and this is Siphanta expatria from New Guinea. The green planthopper, Siphanta acuta (Walker), is a familiar insect in Australian gardens where its nymphs are known as "Torpedo bugs" because of their instant powerful jumping response to being disturbed. S. acuta has been introduced to New Zealand, Hawaii, California and South Africa but there are no reports of it becoming a pest in these areas. Siphanta patruelis (Stål) is also widespread outside of Australia, extending into the Oriental region as far as the Philippines. It occurs as a range of colour variants which were discussed by Fletcher (2002). A number of separate lineages are apparent in the genus which were recognised by Fletcher (1985) as species groups but a phylogenetic analysis is needed to determine whether these lineages should be recognised as separate genera. The names Siphantoides Distant and Parasalurnis Distant would be applicable to the acutipennis and roseicincta species groups, respectively.
The biology of S. acuta was described by Myers (1922) in New Zealand and Muir & Kershaw (1912) described the egg, egg mass and embryological development in the same species in Hawaii. As the ovipositor structure is similar in all species, it is likely that all species lay eggs in flat ovate masses on leaf surfaces since there are no cutting valvulae capable of inserting eggs into plant tissue. Many species have wide host ranges (see Fletcher 1985: 4).




Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Tas, Vic, WA: Australian Alps (AA), Arnhem Coast (ARC), Arnhem Plateau (ARP), Avon Wheatbelt (AW), Brigalow Belt North (BBN), Brigalow Belt South (BBS), Burt Plain (BRT), Carnarvon (CAR), Central Kimberley (CK), Central Mackay Coast (CMC), Coolgardie (COO), Central Ranges (CR), Cape York Peninsula (CYP), Daly Basin (DAB), Darwin Coastal (DAC), Dampierland (DL), Davenport Murchison Ranges (DMR), Darling Riverine Plains (DRP), Einasleigh Uplands (EIU), Eyre Yorke Block (EYB), Flinders Lofty Block (FLB), Flinders (FLI), Gascoyne (GAS), Gulf Fall and Uplands (GFU), Great Sandy Desert (GSD), Gulf Plains (GUP), Great Victoria Desert (GVD), Jarrah Forest (JF), Kanmantoo (KAN), MacDonnell Ranges (MAC), Murray Darling Depression (MDD), Mitchell Grass Downs (MGD), Mount Isa Inlier (MII), Mulga Lands (ML), Nandewar (NAN), Naracoorte Coastal Plain (NCP), New England Tablelands (NET), Northern Kimberley (NK), NSW North Coast (NNC), NSW South Western Slopes (NSS), Ord Victoria Plain (OVP), Pine Creek (PCK), Pilbara (PIL), Sydney Basin (SB), South East Coastal Plain (SCP), South East Corner (SEC), South Eastern Highlands (SEH), South Eastern Queensland (SEQ), Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields (SSD), Stony Plains (STP), Swan Coastal Plain (SWA), Tanami (TAN), Tiwi Cobourg (TIW), Tasmanian Northern Midlands (TNM), Tasmanian South East (TSE), Tasmanian West (TWE), Victoria Bonaparte (VB), Warren (WAR), Wet Tropics (WT)

Other Regions

Lord Howe Island terrestrial & freshwater, Norfolk Island terrestrial & freshwater, Torres Strait Islands terrestrial, marine & freshwater


Frons slightly convex to flat, with median longitudinal carina. Lateral carinae very short or absent. Vertex flat, slightly undulate or slightly concave, meeting frons at carinate margin which may be triangularly produced, roundly convex or nearly straight. Pronotum medially flat between lateral carinae which curve posterolaterally and do not reach hind margin of pronotum; posterior margin broadly concave. Mesonotum with two lateral carinae, flattish medially. Occasionally, median carina faintly developed. Tegmen triangular with sutural angle obtusely rounded, right-angled or slightly acute. Tegmen lacking apical lines, Hind tibia with one spine on shaft (Fletcher 1985).


ID Keys

Fletcher, M.J. (2005). Illustrated key to the genera of the family Flatidae found in Australia (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea)


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
03-Mar-2011 03-Mar-2011 MOVED
01-Mar-2011 01-Mar-2011 MOVED
12-Feb-2010 (import)