Genus Siphanta Stål, 1862

[Back to North American Flatidae]

Family Flatidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Flatinae Spinola, 1839
Tribe Flatini Spinola, 1839
Subtribe Siphantini Melichar 1923
Genus Siphanta Stål, 1862.
Type species (in original combination): Poeciloptera acuta Walker, 1851.
  • Phalainesthes Kirkaldy, 1899 (Type species Phalainesthes schauinslandi Kirkaldy, 1899); syn. by Kirkaldy 1902: 117.
  •  Lombokia Distant, 1910a (Type species Lombokia everetti Distant, 1910a); syn. by Fletcher 1985: 3.
  •  Siphantoides Distant, 1910b (Type species Siphantoides conspicua Distant, 1910b); syn. by Fletcher 1985: 3.
  •  Parasalurnis Distant, 1910b (Type species Poeciloptera roseicincta Walker, 1862); syn. by Fletcher 1985: 3.

Primarily Australia and Indomalayan; 1 species adventive in Hawaii and California..

Recognized species

There are 41 species currently assigned to this genus, most of which occur in Australia (except S. expatria in New Guinea).

See Siphanta webpage on Australian Biological Resources Study – Australian Faunal Directory (compiled by Murray Fletcher) (be sure to note checklist and names list links).

List compiled from Metcalf (1957), FLOW (Bourgoin 2013), and Fletcher (1999).  Errors are my own.

  1. Siphanta acuta (Walker, 1851) – Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia), New Zealand; also adventive in USA: California, Hawaii, Chile, South Africa; records possibly in error Papua New Guinea. It may also be in Ecuador.
  2. Siphanta acutipennis Kirkaldy, 1906 – Australia (Queensland, Northern Territory). = Siphantoides conspicua Distant, 1910b; syn. by Fletcher 1985: 40. = Siphanta alboconspersa (Distant, 1910b); syn. by Fletcher (1985). = Siphanta trimaculata (Distant, 1910b); syn. by Fletcher (1985). =Siphanta alboconspersa (Distant, 1910b) – syn. of Siphanta acutipennis.
  3. Siphanta angularis Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  4. Siphanta angustata Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia).
  5. Siphanta anomala Jacobi, 1928 – Australia (Western Australia).
  6. Siphanta atomaria (Walker, 1858) – syn. of Siphantia hebes. =Siphanta bifida Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland). =Siphanta breviceps Kirkaldy, 1906 (Australia: Queensland); syn. of Siphanta hebes (Walker, 1851) by Fletcher (1985).
  7. Siphanta compacta Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia).
  8. Siphanta constricta Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Northern Territory).
  9. Siphanta eberhardi Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland, New South Wales).
  10. Siphanta expatria Fletcher, 1985 – New Guinea.
  11. Siphanta fusca Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Northern Territory, Western Australia).
  12. Siphanta galeata Kirkaldy, 1906 – Australia (Queensland); New Guinea.
  13. Siphanta gallowayi Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  14. Siphanta glauca Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (New South Wales, Queensland).
  15. Siphanta granulata Kirkaldy, 1906 – Australia (Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia).
  16. Siphanta granulicollis (Stål, 1859) – Australia (New South Wales, Queensland). = Siphanta minuta Melichar, 1902 (nec Fabricius, 1775); syn. by Fletcher 1985.
  17. Siphanta gregaria Jacobi, 1928 – Australia (Queensland).
  18. Siphanta griseoviridis Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  19. Siphanta hackeri Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  20. Siphanta hebes (Walker, 1851) – Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia). = Siphanta atomaria (Walker, 1858); syn. by Fletcher (1985). = Siphanta breviceps Kirkaldy, 1906; syn. by Fletcher (1985). = Siphanta stigma Distant, 1910; syn. by Fletcher (1985). =Siphanta insularis Jacobi, 1941 (Azores: Flores); syn. of Phyllyphanta producta (Spinola, 1839) by Medler (1986). =Siphanta javana Kirkaldy, 1913 (Indonesia: Java); syn. of Siphanta patruelis (Stål, 1859) by Fletcher (1985).
  21. Siphanta kurandae Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  22. Siphanta lucindae Kirkaldy, 1906 – Australia (Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory), Papua New Guinea, Philippines (etc.).
  23. Siphanta luteolineata Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  24. Siphanta lynae Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland, New South Wales).
  25. Siphanta minuta (Fabricius, 1775) – Australia (Queensland, New South Wales). = Siphanta sensilis Kirkaldy, 1907; syn. by Fletcher 1985: 36. =Siphanta minuta Melichar, 1902; syn. of Siphanta granulicollis (Stål, 1859) by Fletcher (1985).
  26. Siphanta montana Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  27. Siphanta nubecula Jacobi, 1928 – Australia (Northern Territory, Western Australia).
  28. Siphanta occidentalis Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Western Australia).
  29. Siphanta parva Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Southern Australia).
  30. Siphanta patruelis (Stål, 1859) – Philippines (Luzon),Indonesia (Lombok, Flores, Sumbawa, Timor, W. Papua, Java, Bali), Papua New Guinea, Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia).  = Siphanta javana Kirkaldy, 1913; syn. by Fletcher (1985). = Siphanta toga Kirkaldy, 1906; syn. by Fletcher (1985). = Siphanta toga maculata (Lallemand, 1935); syn. by Fletcher (1985). = Parasalurnis infumata Distant 1910; syn. by Fletcher (1985). = Lombokia everetti Distant. 1910; syn. by Fletcher (1985).
  31. Siphanta peracuta Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (New South Wales).
  32. Siphanta recurva Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  33. Siphanta roseicincta (Walker, 1862) – Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Southern Australia, Western Australia).= Parasalurnis insularis Distant, 1910; syn. by Fletcher (1985).
  34. Siphanta rubra Schmidt 1904: 358– Australia (New South Wales, Queensland)  = Siphanta sensilis Kirkaldy, 1907 (Australia: Northern Territory, Queensland); syn. with Siphanta minuta (Fab.) by Fletcher 1985: 36.
  35. Siphanta similis Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland).
  36. Siphanta solitaria Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland). = Siphanta stigma Distant, 1910 (Australia); syn. of Siphanta hebes (Walker, 1851) by Fletcher (1985).
  37. Siphanta striata Fletcher, 2002 – Australia (Western Australia).
  38. Siphanta subgranulosa Kirkaldy, 1906 – Australia (Queensland).
  39. Siphanta tasmanica Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Tasmania).
  40. Siphanta thambeos Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Victoria). = Siphanta toga Kirkaldy, 1906 – syn. of Siphanta patruelis by Fletcher (1985). = Siphanta toga maculata (Lallemand, 1935) – syn. of Siphanta patruelis by Fletcher (1985). = Siphanta trimaculata (Distant, 1910b) – syn. with Siphanta acutipennis by Fletcher (1985).
  41. Siphanta tropica Fletcher, 1985 – Australia (Queensland). = Siphanta unicolor (Walker, 1851); syn. with Euphanta munda (Walker 1851 ) by Melichar 1902: 40 (removal from syn. by Medler 1990 considered error byFletcher here).

Thanks to Murray Fletcher for comments on earlier version.  Errors still mine.

Economic Importance:

Siphanta acuta (the ‘torpedo bug’) is adventive into Hawaii and California.  In Hawaii it is considered a pest of  banana, citrus, coffee, guava, macadamia, and many ornamentals.

Known host plants:
  • Siphanta acuta – Eucalyptus (gum, Myrtaceae); apparently polyphagous (mostly on woody plants)
  • Siphanta  spp. – Polyphagous
  • Siphanta gregaria Jacobi, 1928  – Cordia cylindrostachya (Ruiz & Pav.) Roem. & Schult. (Boraginales, Boraginaceae) (Fennah 1945: 444).

Hosts from Fletcher (1985), FLOW,  and Wilson et al. (1994); plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


Keys to species are available in Fletcher (1985) and online here (Fletcher 2005).  (Additional photos: on Siphanta web page – go to names list on right and photo with each species page).

Among North American flatids, Siphanta acuta is of unique appearance with wings broad (not narrowed, and vertex conical and pointed.


Siphanta acuta (photo by Kimberley Shropshire, Department of Entomology, University of Delaware)

Siphanta acuta (photo by Kimberley Shropshire, Department of Entomology, University of Delaware)


This genus is present on Bugguide here and on Discover Life here.

An online key to species is here (Fletcher 2005).  Also online are annotated lists of flatid species (including Siphantafrom Australia, Indonesia & New Guinea, and New Zealand.



Texas invasive species.



Crop Knowledge Master (Hawaii).

New Zealand factsheet.


Atlas of Living Australia.

Canberra Nature Map.


The adventive Siphanta acuta can be collected by general inspection, sweeping, or beating of woody vegetation.

Molecular resources

Date for this genus is available at this time on Genbank for Siphanta sp. and Siphanta acuta, and on Barcode of Life there is currently (May 2017) data for 5 species (Siphanta acutaS. acutipennis, S. angustataS. reseicincta and S. patruelis).

Selected references

Bartlett, C. R., L. B. O’Brien and S. W. Wilson. 2014. A review of the planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea) of the United States. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 50: 1-287.

Bourgoin Th. 2013. FLOW (Fulgoromorpha Lists on The Web): a world knowledge base dedicated to Fulgoromorpha.  Version 8, updated 18.ii.2013.

Campodonico, J.F. 2019. Presencia de Siphanta acuta (Walker) (Hemiptera: Flatidae) en Isla de Pascua y área invadible en Chile continental. Revista Chilena de Entomología 45(4) 559-578.

Campodonico, J. F. 2020. Distribución potencial del fitófago Siphanta acuta (Walker) Insecta: Hemiptera: Flatidae. Poster presented at LXII SOCBIOL – XIII SOCEVOL – XXVI SOCECOL – XXX SBO, Valdivia, Chile (11-13 march 2020).

Distant, W. L. 1910a. Rhynchota Malayana. Part III. Records of the Indian Museum 5: 313-338.

Distant, W. L. 1910b. Rhynchotal notes. — L. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 8th series 5: 297-322.

Fabricius, J. C. 1775. Ryngota. Systema Entomologiae, sistens insectorum classes, ordines, genera, species, adiectis, synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, observationibus (Korte: Flensburg and Leipzig) 816pp.

Fletcher, M. J. 1985. Revision of the genus Siphanta Stal (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea: Flatidae). Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series No. 110 : 1-94.

Fletcher, M. J. 1999. Identification key and checklists for the Planthoppers of Australia and New Zealand (Superfamily Fulgoroidea)

Fletcher, M. J. 2002. A new species of Siphanta Stal (Hemiptera: Flatidae) from Western Australia and notes on other species of the genus. Australian Entomologist 29(3): 97-102.

Fletcher, M. J. 2005. Illustrated Key to the species of the genus Siphanta Stål (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Flatidae)

Fowler, W. W. 1900. Order Rhynchota. Suborder Hemiptera-Homoptera. (Continued). Key to the genera of the subfamily Flatinae with descriptions of the new species. Biologia Centrali-Americana 1: 49-56.

Jacobi, A. 1928. “Rhynchota Homoptera. 1. Fulgoridae und Cercopidae.” In: Results of Dr. E. Mjöberg’s Swedish Scientific Expeditions to Australia 1910-1913. Arkiv för Zoologi 19 (28):1-50.

Jacobi, A. 1941. Die Zikadenfauna der Kleinen Sundainseln. Nach der Expeditionsausbeute von B. Rensch. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systemetik, Okologie und Geographie der Tiere. Jena 74: 277-322.

Kirkaldy, G. W. 1899b. Eine neu Hawaii’sche Fulgoriden-Gattung und Art. Entomologische Nachrichten 25: 359.

Kirkaldy, G. W. 1902a. Hemiptera. In. D. Sharp (ed.). Fauna hawaiiensis; or, The zoology of the Sandwich (Hawaiian) isles: being results of the explorations instituted by the joint committee appointed by the Royal society of London for promoting natural knowledge and the British association for the advancement of science, and carried on with the assistance of those bodies and of the trustees of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop museum at Honolulu. 3 (2):93-174.

Kirkaldy, G. W. 1906c. Leafhoppers and their natural enemies. (Pt. IX Leafhoppers. Hemiptera). Bulletin. Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association Experiment Station. Division of Entomology 1(9): 271-479.

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. [From Google Books]

Kirkaldy, G. W. 1913. On some new species of leafhoppers. Part 1. Bulletin of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association Experiment Station, Division of Entomology 12: 7-27.

Lallemand, V. 1935. Homoptères des Iles de la Sonde et de l’Australie du Nord. Revue Suisse de Zoologie. Annales de la Société Zoologique Suisse et du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Genève. Genève 42: 661-681.

Medler, J. T. 1986. Types of Flatidae 7, lectotype designations and taxonomic notes on species in the Zoological Museum of the Humboldt University, Berlin.(Homoptera). Deutsche entomologische Zeitschrift. Berlin 32(1-2): 46-53.

Medler, J. T. 1990. Types of Flatidae (Homoptera) XIV. Walker and Distant types in the British Museum. Oriental Insects 24: 127-195.

Melichar, L. 1902. Monographie der Acanaloniiden und Flatiden (Homoptera) (Fortsetzung). Annalen des k.k Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums. Wien 17: 1-253.

Melichar, L. 1923a. Homptera, fam. Acanaloniidae, Flatidae et Ricaniidae. Genera Insectorum. Bruxelles 182: 1-185.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1957. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV, Fulgoroidea, Part 13, Flatidae and Hypochthonellidae. North Carolina State College, Raleigh, North Carolina. Pp. 1-565.

Schmidt, E. 1904. Neue und bemerkenswerthe Flatiden des Stettiner Museums. Stettiner entomologische Zeitung 65: 354–381.

Spinola, M. 1839a. Essai sur les Fulgorelles, sous-tribu de la tribu des Cicadaires, ordre des Rhyngotes. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 8: 133-337.

Spinola, M. 1839b. Essai sur les Fulgorelles, sous-tribu de la tribu des Cicadaires, ordre des Rhyngotes. (Suite). Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 8: 339-454.

Stål, C. 1859b. Hemiptera. Species novas descripsit. In: Konglinga svenska Fregatten Eugenies resa omkring jorden: under befäl af C. A. Virgin åren 1851-1853. Vetenskapliga iakttagelser På H. M. Konung Oscar den Förstes befallning utgifna af K. Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien Zoologi. P. A. Norstedt & Söner, Stockholm. 4: 219-298.

Stål, C. 1862e. Bidrag till Rio Janeiro-traktens Hemipterfauna II. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar 3(6): 1-75. [pdf is only Fulgoroid portion]

Walker, F. 1851. List of the specimens of Homopterous Insects in the collection of the British Museum. British Museum, London. 2: 261-636.

Walker, F. 1858. Insecta saundersiana: or characters of undescribed insects in the collection of William Wilson Saunders. 1858: 117 pp.

Walker, F. 1862. Characters of undescribed species of Homoptera in the collection of F. P. Pasco, F. L. S. The Journal of Entomology descriptive and geographical 1:303-319.

Wilson, S. W., C. Mitter, R. F. Denno and M. R. Wilson. 1994. Evolutionary patterns of host plant use by delphacid planthoppers and their relatives. In: R. F. Denno and T. J. Perfect, (eds.). Planthoppers: Their Ecology and Management. Chapman and Hall, New York. Pp. 7-45 & Appendix.

Zimmerman, E. C. 1948. Insects of Hawaii, Volume 4. Homoptera: Auchenorrhyncha. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email