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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

Indian cotton jassid (Amrasca biguttula biguttula)

Host plants / species affected
Abelmoschus esculentus (okra)
Amaranthus (amaranth)
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)
Beta vulgaris var. saccharifera (sugarbeet)
Cajanus cajan (pigeon pea)
Calendula (marigolds)
Cassia (sennas)
Chloris gayana (rhodes grass)
Corchorus (jutes)
Glycine max (soyabean)
Gossypium (cotton)
Guizotia abyssinica (niger)
Helianthus annuus (sunflower)
Hibiscus cannabinus (kenaf)
Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle)
Morus alba (mora)
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)
Raphanus sativus (radish)
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)
Solanum melongena (aubergine)
Solanum tuberosum (potato)
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)
Vigna radiata (mung bean)
Vigna unguiculata (cowpea)
Zea mays (maize)
List of symptoms/signs
Leaves  -  abnormal colours
Leaves  -  abnormal leaf fall
Leaves  -  necrotic areas
Leaves  -  necrotic areas
Whole plant  -  dwarfing
The initial symptoms of leafhopper damage in all crops are yellowing of leaves, followed by crinkling around the margins and upward curling of leaves. The leaf tips and margins develop necrotic areas. At later stages, bronzing of entire leaves can be seen. This may or may not be associated with leaf fall. Severely affected plants have stunted growth.

Prevention and control

Cultural Control

Sowing of cotton between mid-April and June may minimise A. biguttula biguttula damage in Northern India (Joginder Singh et al., 1978). A. biguttula biguttula incidence was significantly lower on cotton intercropped with sunflower, green gram (Vigna radiata) and black gram (Vigna mungo) than cotton alone (Venkatesan et al., 1987), although Singh et al. (1993) observed high incidence of A. biguttula biguttula in sunflower (Helianthus annus) and okra, when intercropped with cotton.

In glasshouse experiments Bernardo and Taylo (1990) observed a pronounced preference by A. biguttula biguttula for feeding and oviposition on okra compared to aubergine. They indicated the possibility of using okra as a trap crop to save aubergine germplasm from leafhopper damage.

After rice harvest, sowing cowpeas by minimum tillage methods among standing stubble reduced colonization by leafhoppers during the first 2 weeks of crop growth (Litsinger and Ruhendi, 1984).

Host-Plant Resistance

A number of reports are available from India on screening of cotton (Dhawan, 1991), okra (Mahal et al., 1993), aubergine (Gaikward et al. 1991), sunflower (Deshmukh and Akhare, 1979) and cowpea (Sagar and Mehta, 1982) germplasm for resistance to A. biguttula biguttula. Several of these reports are based on repeated field screenings. Few reports also pertain to laboratory screening for confirmation. Statistics, however, are not available whether these resistant varieties are cultivated or not.


Leafhoppers show less preference for varieties of Gossypium arboreum than G. hirsutum (Balraj Singh et al., 1976; Yein, 1983; Khan and Agarwal, 1984; Malik and Nandal, 1986). Among the G. hirsutum types resistance is associated with long hair length and tough leaf lamina on the ventral surface of leaves (Khan and Agarwal, 1984; Premsekhar, 1985). Balasubramanian (1979) reported long internodes in variety HB 69 contributing to resistance to leafhopper attack.


The varieties/lines Sel 6-2, AE 30, White Velvet, Clemson Spineless, Early Long Green, AE 27, IC 75, HB 45, HB 39, HB 43, IC 7194, Punjab Padmini and New Selection have been reported to have resistance to leafhoppers (Uthamasamy et al., 1975; Patil et al., 1977; Teli and Dalaya, 1981; Kishore et al., 1983; Mahal et al., 1993). A wild species, Abelmoschus moschatus, has also been found to offer resistance to leafhoppers (Hooda and Dhankar, 1992).


Field screening of aubergine germplasm against A. biguttula biguttula in India has led to identification of Manjari Kota, Vaishali, Mukta Keshi, Round Green and Kalyanpur T 3 possessing resistance. The resistance was associated with increased length and density of hairs and trichomes (Mote, 1982; Gaikwad et al., 1991). In studies conducted in the Philippines, the aubergine varieties PI 381272-2 and PI 386257-11 have been found to be less preferred for feeding by leafhoppers in greenhouse conditions. Both these varieties exhibited the antixenosis mechanism of resistance (Caasi-Lit and Bernardo, 1990).


Brar and Sandhu (1974) recorded low leafhopper infestation in two spring varieties, EC 15527 and EC 27501, and a summer variety, EC 68415, during screening studies. Early and dwarf varieties, Morden and Cerianka 66, have been found to be less preferred for leafhopper infestation (Deshmukh and Akhare, 1979).


Sagar and Mehta (1982) screened 14 cowpea varieties and isolated Vita 4 as possessing resistance to leafhoppers.

Chemical Control

The literature is replete with information on the effectiveness of different chemical groups (organochlorine, organophosphorus, carbamate and synthetic pyrethroids) and their application methods in controlling A. biguttula biguttula on several crops in the Indian subcontinent. Applications are either calendar- or need-based, depending on the crop and the growing season. In addition to numerous research papers published in various journals, the chemical and time of its application has also been listed in the package of practices published by different research institutes/development agencies in India. Absence of effective natural enemies of leafhoppers has probably prompted several research workers to undertake studies on chemical control.

A brief summary of research on need-based control for leafhopper management is provided below.


Insecticide sprays for leafhopper management in cotton are usually applied at appearance of crinkling, curling and yellowing on the lower leaves of plants, or when the nymphal population reaches 3.5-5.2 per leaf (Rote et al. 1985). Darshan Singh et al. (1982) estimated an economic threshold level of five leafhopper nymphs per leaf for spray intervention in cotton.

Skip row treatments with systemic insecticides (as alternate or as paired rows) have been found to promote survival of the green lacewing predator Chrysoperla carnea and the coccinellid Cheilomenes sexmaculata, both important natural enemies in the cotton ecosystem (Surulivelu and Kumaraswami, 1989). This practice may therefore be of benefit for leafhopper management.

In Bangladesh, spray at appearance of one leafhopper per leaf enabled build-up of natural enemies such as Micraspis discolor, Coccinella transversalis, C. septempunctata and Menochilus sexmaculatus [Cheilomenes sexmaculatus] (Ali and Karim, 1990).


In South India, the critical crop stages requiring spray are 21 and 35 days after germination. Application of granular insecticides at sowing was ineffective against A. biguttula biguttula at late crop stages (Srinivasan and Krishna Kumar, 1988). A. biguttula biguttula attack during the fruiting period is considered the most critical period for spraying (Faleiro and Rai, 1985). In okra, an economic injury level of 4.66 leafhoppers per plant has been determined. This threshold is based on yield, cost of chemicals and the prevailing market price (Faleiro and Rai, 1988).


A. biguttula biguttula causes heavy losses particularly in cotton and okra during the summer months in the Indian subcontinent. In cotton it can cause yield loss greater than 100-114 kg of lint per hectare (Sukhija et al., 1987; Dhawan et al., 1988). The combined losses due to leafhoppers and whitefly on sunflower is estimated to be 9.2% (Balasubramanian and Chelliah, 1985). In the absence of effective natural enemies, this pest requires insecticide intervention for its control in the entire Indian subcontinent.

Related treatment support
Pest Management Decision Guides
Thanabalasingam, K.; CABI, 2014, English language
External factsheets
DPI NSW factsheets, New South Wales Government, Department of Primary Industries, Australia, 2015, English language
Plant Health Australia Factsheets, Plant Health Australia, English language
East West Seed Insect Pest Factsheets, East West Seed, 2013, English language
Pestnet Factsheets, Pestnet, English language
AVRDC International Cooperators' Fact Sheets, Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC), 2001, English language
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