Genus Saccharosydne Kirkaldy, 1907

[back to Higher Classification of Delphacidae]
[back to A checklist of New World delphacid species]

Family Delphacidae Leach, 1815

Subfamily Delphacinae Leach, 1815

Tribe Saccharosydnini Vilbaste, 1968

Genus Saccharosydne Kirkaldy, 1907

Type species (in original combination): Delphax saccharivora Westwood, 1833.


Widespread in New World tropics, with one species found well into the New World temperate region.  One species in Japan, Korea, etc.

Distribution of Saccharosydne

Distribution of Saccharosydne from FLOW (7 Nov. 2018)

Recognized species

Saccharosydne brevirostris Muir, 1926 – Ecuador
Saccharosydne gracillis Muir, 1926 – Brazil
Saccharosydne ornatipennis Muir, 1926 – Brazil, Guatemala, Panama, St. Lucia
Saccharosydne procerus Matsumura, 1924 – Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku), China (“Manchuria”), Russia (Maritime Territory), Taiwan, Korea (Vietnam?)
Saccharosydne rostrifrons (Crawford, 1914) – Cuba, St. Lucia
Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westwood, 1833) (the West Indian Canefly) – USA: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina,?Wisconsin; Bahamas (Great Abaco, Long, Mangrove Cay, New Providence); Barbados, Bermuda, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Venezuela.
Saccharosydne subandina Remes Lenicov and Rossi Batiz, 2010 – Argentina
Saccharosydne viridis Muir, 1926 – Guyana (as British Guiana)

Plant associations

Saccharosydne procerus Matsumura, 1924 – Zizania aquatica L. (annual wildrice), Zizania caduciflora (Turcz.) Hand.-Mazz., Zizania latifolia (Griseb.) Turcz. ex Stapf
Saccharosydne ornatipennis Muir, 1926 – Paspalum intermedium Munro ex Morong (intermediate paspalum)
Saccharosydne rostrifrons (Crawford, 1914) – Paspalum virgatum L. (talquezal)
Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westwood, 1833) –  Andropogon bicornis L. (barbas de indio), Andropogon glomeratus (Walter) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.(bushy bluestem), Saccharum officinarum L. (Sugarcane); Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf (Sudangrass)
Saccharosydne subandinaAllium sativum L. (Liliales, Amaryllidaceae), Cortaderia sp. (Poales, Poaceae), Secale cereale L. (Poales, Poaceae) (Remes Lenicov & Rossi Batiz 2010: 585).
Saccharosydne viridis Muir, 1926 – Oryza sativa L. (Rice)


Ufens niger (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) – see Krombien 1979: 1036.

Paraphanolophus metcalfei Smiley, 1968 (Acari, Trombidiformes, Erythraeidae) according to Smiley (1968), Stroinski et al. (2013): 200

Economic Importance

Saccharosydne saccharivora has long been known as a pest on sugarcane (described as such by Westwood 1833, see e.g., CIE 1956).  It is certain that the current distribution of this species has much to do with the current and historic cultivation of sugarcane. Recently, Arocha et al. (2005) reported sugarcane yellow leaf phytoplasma vectored by Saccharosydne saccharivora.  This is a highly unusual finding as it represents the first delphacid phytoplama vector (all other delphacids are virus vectors).  This finding has generated interest in research on the biology and taxonomy of saccharosydnine delphacids.  Currently, Ana Maria Marino de Remes Lenicov and students are examining the taxonomy and biology of saccharosydnine planthoppers in Argentina (as, I am sure, are Arocha and colleagues in Cuba).

Saccharosydne saccharivora was recently reported as an ’emerging pest of sugarcane’ in Louisiana (Wilson et al. 2019)

Aside from S. saccharivora, the species in this tribe are quite poorly known, but the possibility of other taxa in this tribe being vectors of phytoplamas or viruses needs to be carefully examined.  Several economic plants are reported as hosts for Saccharosydne species, but other than sugarcane, their impact is unclear.


Very fragile, head narrow with respect to the thorax, with a narrowed frons, slightly to decidedly projected beyond eye; antennae short relative to Neomalaxa; greenish in life, often yellowed in museum specimens.

There are evidently a number of undescribed species.  Several of the described species are incompletely characterized, so it is often difficult to clearly diagnose described species.  Saccharosydne ornatipennis is the only described Saccharosydne with distinct wing markings; but it is possible – or probable – that there are undescribed species with such markings (for example, I’m not positive this is S. ornatipennis or undescribed) (from Venezuela; thanks to Marco Gaiani).

Key to species of Saccharosydne (translated and edited from Rossi Batiz 2014)
1. General color green or yellowish orange with dark markings on the wings. Head curved towards the apex, in lateral view; Vertex long (more than three times longer than width) … 2
1´. General color green, no dark markings on the wings. Straight head in side view; Vertex short (less than three times its width)… 3

2.General color yellowish orange; Medium fairings of the vertex and front partly obscured; Vertex projected almost 2/3 of its length in front of the eyes. Anterior rhomboidal wings apical; Venation different from congeners, with dark macules in the wing membrane. Parameres medialmente wider, external margin deeply concave toward the apex (Fig.15) … S. rostifrons
2´. General color green; Medium vertex and evenly dark foreheads; Vertex projected 3/5 of its length in front of the eyes. Anterior wings widened apically from the nodal line, dark on the apical cells and veins. Parameres short, medially wider, abruptly narrowed subapically, external margin deeply concave towards the apex (Fig. 13) … S. ornatipennis

3. Vertex short, projected 1/5 of its length in front of the eyes; Carman submediana bifurcada in the apex; With a macula around the ocelli. Parameres broadly broad, with narrow apical portion, deep concave outer margin (Fig.11)…S. brevirostris
3´. Vertex projected more than 1/5 of its length in front of the eyes; Carena submediana bifurcada dorsalmente on the vertex. Parameres gradually narrowed towards the apex … 4

4. Parameros narrow, with lateral rectilinear margins. Vertex projected 1/3 of its length in front of the eyes …5
4´. Parameros wide, with sinuous lateral margins. Vertex projected 1/3 or more of its length in front of the eyes ... 6

5. Subparallel parameres, slightly curved towards the apex (Fig.19); New World … S. viridis
5´. Parameres divergent (Fig.14); Old World (Japan, etc.) … S. procerus

6. Parameres with rounded apex, slightly narrowed towards apex (Fig.16)… S. saccharivora
6´. Parameres with slightly truncated apex… 7

7. Parameres with apical angles external acute and rounded internal. Vertex projected 1/3 of its length in front of the eyes; Uniform color face (Fig.12) … S. gracillis
7´. Parameres with acute external and internal apical angles. Vertex projected almost 1/2 of its length in front of the eyes; Front with a black rounded macula in each genus (Fig.17)… S. subandina

Saccharosydne saccharivora  (photos from Florida and North Carolina specimens).

Saccharosydne saccharivora Saccharosydne saccharivora Saccharosydne saccharivora Saccharosydne saccharivora Saccharosydne saccharivora Saccharosydne saccharivora

Saccharosydne saccharivora

Saccharosydne near brevirostris (from Mexico)

Saccharosydne cf brevirostris

Saccharosydne cf brevirostris

Saccharosydne cf brevirostris

Saccharosydne cf brevirostris

Saccharosydne cf brevirostris

Saccharosydne cf brevirostris

Saccharosydne cf brevirostris

Saccharosydne cf brevirostris

Saccharosydne brevirostris

Saccharosydne gracilis

Saccharosydne ornatipennis

Saccharosydne procerus Saccharosydne rostrifrons

Saccharosydne subandina Saccharosydne subandina

Molecular resources

There are 3 species of Saccharsydne on Genbank (here). There are data for 2 species of Saccharosydne on BOLD [here].

Selected references

Arocha, Y., M. Lopez, M. Fernandez, B. Pinol, D. Horta, E. L. Peralta, R. Almeida, O. Carvajal, S. Picornell, M. R. Wilson and P. Jones. 2005. Transmission of a sugarcane yellow leaf phytoplasma by the delphacid planthopper Saccharosydne saccharivora, a new vector of sugarcane yellow leaf syndrome. Plant Pathology 54(5): 634-642.

Chen, J. 1994. A prelimiary [sic] study on the biological character and control techniques of green slender planthopper Saccharosydne procerus (Matsumura). Journal of Huazhong Agricultural University 13(1): 40-45.

Commonwealth Institute of Entomology. 1956. Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westw.). Distribution Maps of Insect Pests, London. Map. No. 62.

Caldwell, J.S. and L.F. Martorell. 1951 [dated1950]. Review of the Auchenorynchous [sic] Homoptera of Puerto Rico. Part II. The Fulgoroidea except Kinnaridae. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 34(2): 133-269.

Ding, J., L. Yang, C. Hu y J. Sheng. 1982. A preliminary observation on the green plant-hopper Saccharosydne procerus (Matsumura). Journal of Nanjing Agricultural College, No 2: 45-51.

Galdeano, E., L. E. Torres, N. Meneguzzi, F. Guzmán, G. G. Gomez, D. M. Docampo and L. R. Conci. 2004. Molecular Characterization of 16S Ribosomal DNA and Phylogenetic Analysis of Two X-disease Group Phytoplasmas Affecting China-tree (Melia azedarach L.) and Garlic (Allium sativum L.) in Argentina. Journal Phytopathology, 152: 174–181.

Guagliumi. P. 1953. El saltahoja de la caña de azucar Saccharosydne saccharivora Westw. y la fumagina en Venezuela. Ministerio de Agricultura y Cría. Instituto Nacional de Agricultura. Venezuela. Boletín Técnico number 7: 1-82. number 7: 1-82.

Kirkaldy, G. W. 1907. Leafhoppers supplement (Hemiptera). Bulletin of the Experiment Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association, Entomological Series 3: 1-186, plus 20 plates.

Krombein, K. V. 1979. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico, vol. 1. Symphyta and Apocrita (Parasitica). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC. Pp. i-xvi + 1198. (see p. 1036)

Leach, W. E. 1815a. Entomology. The Edinburg encyclopedia; conducted by David Brewster 9: 57-172. (family Delphacidae p. 125).

Metcalf, Z. P. 1943. General Catalogue of the Hemiptera. Fascicle IV, Fulgoroidea, Part 3, Araeopidae (Delphacidae). Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts. 552 pp.

Metcalfe, J. R. 1965. Nitrogen Status of Sugar-cane Leaves and the Fecundity of a Hemipterous Pest. Nature 207: 219-220. doi:10.1038/207219a0.

Metcalfe, J. R. 1969. Studies on the biology of the sugar cane pest Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westw.) (Hom.: Delphacidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research 59: 393-408.

Metcalfe, J. R. 1970. Studies on the effect of the nutrient status of sugar-cane on the fecundity of Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westw.) (Hom., Delphacidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research, 60(2), 309-325. doi:10.1017/S0007485300040827

Metcalfe, J. R. 1971. Observations on the ecology of Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westw.) (Hom., Delphacidae) in Jamaican sugar-cane fields. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 60(4), 565-597. doi:10.1017/S0007485300042334

Metcalfe, J. R. 1972. An analysis of the population dynamics of the Jamaican sugarcane pest Saccharosydne saccharivora (West.) (Hom., Delphacidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research 62: 3–85.

Muir, F.A.G. 1926b. Contributions to our knowledge of South American Fulgoroidea (Homoptera). Part I. The Family Delphacidae. Experiment Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association, Entomological Series, Bulletin 18:1-51, plates 1-5.

Remes Lenicov, A.M.M. de and M. F. Rossi Batiz. 2010. A new species of Saccharosydne Kirkaldy from Argentina (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). Neotropical Entomology 39(4): 584-589.

Rossi Batiz, M. F. 2014. Taxonomía, Distribución y Biología de la tribu Saccharosydnini (Insecta-Hemiptera-Fulgoromorpha). Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Doctoral Thesis. [here]

Rossi Batiz, M. F. and A.M.M. de Remes Lenicov. 2009. First record of the genus Saccharosydne Kirkaldy 1907 (Hemiptera – Fulgoromorpha – Delphacidae) in Argentina. Interciencia – Journal of Science and Technology of the Americas, Venezuela 34 (2): 127-129.

Rossi Batiz, M. F. and A.M.M. de Remes Lenicov. 2011. A new genus and species of Saccharosydnini (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Delphacidae) from Argentina. Zootaxa 3118: 62-68. Https://

Rossi Batiz, M. F. and A.M.M. Remes Lenicov. 2011. Description of the immature stages of Saccharosydne subandina Remes Lenicov and Rossi Batiz (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). Studies on Neotroptropical Fauna and Environment. 46: 137-142.

Rossi Batiz, M. F., L. R. Conci and A.M.M. de Remes Lenicov. 2007. Hallazgo del saltahojas verde de la caña de azúcar, Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westwood, 1833) en cultivos de ajo de la Argentina (Hemiptera-Fulgoromorpha). XXX Congreso Argentino de Horticultura – I Simposio Internacional sobre Cultivos Protegidos. Horticultura Argentina 26(61): 45.

Salazar Blanco, J. D., and M. Chaves Solera. Not dated. Estrategias Modernas De Manejo Y Control De Plagas En El Cultivo De La Caña De Azucar En Costa Rica. Liga Agricola Industrial De La Caña De Azucar (Laica): Dirección de Investigación y Extensión de la Caña de Azúcar (DIECA), Costa Rica. 20 pp.

Smiley, R. L. 1968. A new genus and three new species of Erythraeoidea (Acarina: Erythraeidae and Smarididae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 70(1): 13-21. [here, e.g.]

Sokolov, I., X. Chen, R. M. Strecker and L. M. Hooper-Bùi. 2018. An Annotated List of Auchenorrhyncha and Heteroptera collected in the coastal salt marshes of the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana. Psyche 2018. 1-16. 10.1155/2018/1808370.

Stroinski A., M. Felska and J. Makol. 2013. A review of host-parasite associations between terrestrial Parasitengona (Actinotrichida: Prostigmata) and bugs (Hemiptera). Annales Zoologici Warszawa 63(2): 195-221.

Triapitsyn, S. V., G. A. Logarzo and E. G. Virla. 2011. Egg Parasitoid of Saccharosydne subandina (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) in Neuquén Argentina. Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria, Boletín Manejo Integrado de Plagas 20: online. [abstract]

Vilbaste, J. 1968. K faune tsikadovykh Primorskogo kraia. [Über die Zikadenfauna des Primorje Gebietes.] Valgus, Tallin, Estonia.

Westwood, J. O. 1833. Additional observations upon the insect which infests the sugar canes in Grenada. The Magazine of Natural History [and Journal of Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, Geology, and Meteorology] 6:409-413, fig. 54.

Wilson, B. E. 2019. Hemipteran Pests of Sugarcane in North America. Insects 10(4) (ePub article 207): 15 pp.

Wilson, B. E., J. M. Beuzelin, R. T. Richard, R. M. Johnson, K. A. Gravois, W. H. White. 2019. West Indian Canefly (Hemiptera: Delphacidae): An emerging pest of Louisiana sugarcane. Journal of Economic Entomology 113(1): 263–272 (article toz284, 10 pp).

Yin, H.C., M. Shakeel, J. Kuang and J. C. Li. 2015. An opposite pattern to the conventional thermal hypothesis: temperature-dependent variation in coloration of adults of Saccharosydne procerus (Homoptera: Delphacidae). PLOS One 10(5): e0128859. 

Yin, H. C., Q. H. Shi, M. Shakeel, J. Kuang and J. H. Li. 2016. The environmental plasticity of diverse body color caused by extremely long photoperiods and high temperature in Saccharosydne procerus (Homoptera: Delphacidae). Frontiers in Physiology 7: 401. DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00401.

Yu, X.-p. 2001. Role of Saccharosydne procerus on Zizania caducifloras as an alternate host for Anagrus nilaparvatae, the egg parasitoid of the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens, which attacks temperate rice. In: T.W. Mew, E. Borromeo, and B. Hardy, (eds.). Exploiting Biodiversity for Sustainable Pest Management: Proceedings, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. Pp. 15-22.

Zhang, F-m. 1983. A preliminary report on the study of Saccharosydne procerus (Matsumura). Entomological Knowledge 20(2): 56-58.

Zheng, X. S., Z. X. Lu, J. M. Chen, H. X. Xu, J. F. Zhang, L. Z. Chen and X. P. Yu. 2006. Occurrence of green slender planthopper (Saccharosydne procerus) on water-bamboo (Zizania caduciflora). Acta Agriculturae Zhejiangensis 18(1): 12-15.

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