Genus Nilaparvata Distant, 1906
Pantropical, with most species in the Old World tropics.
Type species (in original combination): Nilaparavata greeni Distant, 1906, a synonym of Delphax lugens Stal, 1854.
19 recognized species worldwide as follows:
1 Nilaparvata caldwelli Metcalf, 1955 - Puerto Rico, Belize, Hispaniola; USA: Florida, North Carolina (reports from africa need confirmation)
2 Nilaparvata gerhardi (Metcalf, 1923) - USA: Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia; ? Guatemala
3 Nilaparvata serrata Caldwell, 1951 - Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, ? Bolivia; USA: Florida
4 Nilaparvata wolcotti Muir and Giffard, 1924 - USA: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Utah; Puerto Rico, Mexico
Old World (distribution records may be incomplete)
1 Nilaparvata albotristriata (Kirkaldy, 1907) - Australia
2 Nilaparvata angolensis Synave, 1959 - Angola
3 Nilaparvata bakeri (Muir, 1917) - Philippine Islands, Taiwan, Japan
4 Nilaparvata camilla Fennah, 1969 - Sudan
5 Nilaparvata castanea Huang and Ding, 1979 - China
6 Nilaparvata chaeremon Fennah, 1975 - Sri Lanka
7 Nilaparvata diophantus Fennah, 1958 - Portuguese Guinea
8 Nilaparvata lineolae Huang and Tian, 1979 - China
9 Nilaparvata lugens (Stal, 1854) - Widespread in tropical and temperate Asia and Pacific Islands
10 Nilaparvata maeander Fennah, 1958 - Guinea, Sudan
11 Nilaparvata muiri China, 1925 - China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea.
12 Nilaparvata myersi Muir, 1923 - New Zealand
13 Nilaparvata nigritarsis Muir, 1926 - South Africa
14 Nilaparvata seminula Melichar, 1914 - Philippine Island
15 Nilaparvata terracefrons Guo and Liang, 2005 - China
Note: Some species of Nilaparvata, in particular N. lugens, have long-distance migration.
Nilaparvata lugens, N. bakeri, N. maeander and N. muiri - Rice (Oryza sativa)
Nilaparvata bakeri, N. muiri - Cutgrasses (Leersia spp.)
Nilaparvata gerhardi has been reported from Scirpus americana (a sedge)
Of the four Nilaparvata species in the New World, none are known to be pests on economic crops, although Nilaparvata wolcotti has been recorded from sugarcane. Nilaparvata planthoppers endemic to the New World are often found at lights.
On the other hand, Nilaparvata lugens, the brown planthopper (BPH) is an important and widespread pest of rice (see ricehoppers.net). Nilaparvata lugens can reach high densities on rice, and vectors Rice Grassy Stunt Virus (RGSV), and Rice Ragged Stunt Virus (RRSV). A good recent reference on rice diseases transmitted by Nilaparvata lugens is:
Cabauatan, P.Q., R.C. Cabunagan, and I.R.Choi. 2009. Rice viruses transmitted by the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens Stål. Pp 357-368 In: K.L. Heong and B. Hardy, (eds.) . 2009. Planthoppers: new threats to the sustainability of intensive rice production systems in Asia. Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute.
Nilaparvata lugens has been intercepted at US ports, but so far has not become established.
Nilaparvata bakeri, N. maeander and N. muiri are also known from rice. None of these four species are known from the New World.
Other Nilaparvata on rice are of comparatively minor (or at least local) importance. Nilaparvata muiri is also a vector of Rice Grassy Stunt Virus (RGSV), Nilaparvata bakeri has also been recorded as a vector of Rice Grassy Stunt Virus (RGSV), and Rice Ragged Stunt Virus (RRSV). Photos and additional information on these species can be found here: http://naturalhistory.museumwales.ac.uk/vectors/Home.php
A good general source of information on rice planthoppers is the ricehoppers blog: http://ricehoppers.net/.
The genus Nilaparvata can be recognized by the presence of a series of teeth on the first tarsal segment of the hind leg.
New World Nilaparvata are externally quite similar and are best identified by their male genitalia, in particular the shape of the parameres and aedeagus.
Nilaparvata caldwelli Metcalf, 1955 (Dorsal view and face)
Nilaparvata caldwelli is the least common of the New World Nilaparvata. Additional views of this species, including the genitalia are here.
Nilaparvata gerhardi (Metcalf, 1923)
Nilaparvata gerhardi appears to be distributed in temperate eastern North America, and only doubtfully in the tropics. Additional views of this species, including genitalia are here.
Nilaparvata lugens (Stal, 1854) (not found in the New World)
Nilaparvata lugens - the brown planthopper - is not known from the New World, but has been intercepted at ports. It is a very important rice pest throughout the Old world. Externally it is very similar to the endemic New World species, but the parameres and shape of the aedeagus are quite different (see figure here).
An extension fact sheet (from the Solomon Islands) is here.
Nilaparvata serrata Caldwell, 1951
Nilaparvata serrata is found mostly in the New World tropics, but is known from Florida. The shape of the male paramere (the image on the right is a left paramere) and aedeagus are distinctive in this species and can be see in the figure here.
Nilaparvata wolcotti Muir and Giffard, 1924
Nilaparvata wolcotti is widespread in North America, and is also known from Mexico and Puerto Rico. Like all the new World Nilaparvata, it is best recognized by the male genitalia, which can be seen here.
I do not have photographs of Nilaparvata muiri or N. bakeri, but here are line drawings of the genitalia from Wilson & Claridge, 1991 (from here).
There are a wide variety of molecular resources available for Nilaparvata lugens including a variety of genes, an EST library, and an ongoing genome project. From a molecular standpoint, Nilaparvata lugens is probably the best known delphacid. A link to Nilaparvata lugens molecular resources on Genbank is (should be) here. As of this writing, BOLD reports 138 specimen barcodes available here.
Resources for the remaining species of Nilaparvata are sparse, although Urban et al. (2010) sequenced four genes for Nilaparvata wolcotti (18s, 28, CO1, WG).
Important taxonomic resources for New World Nilaparvata species:
Bartlett, C.R. 2007. A review of the planthopper genus Nilaparvata (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) in the New World. Entomological News 118(1): 49-66.
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.
A few references on Nilaparvata
Here is a PDF listing about 630 literature references, mostly on Nilapargata lugens.