Targeting hoppers

ENTOMOLOGISTS have identified a fungus (Pandora delphacis) that can kill two types of pests -- brown planthoppers (Nilaparvata lugens) and green leafhoppers (Nephotettix spp) -- that target the rice crop in India.

P Narayanasamy and L Udaya Prabhakar of Annamalai University and R A Humber of the US department of agriculture isolated the fungus and tested it on the two hoppers. They say that in the lab, it caused infection in 45-75 per cent of the insects (Plant Protection Bulletin, Vol 40, No 3).

The scientists say the fungus has been reported to be effective against certain types of planthoppers that target rice in the Philippines and Indonesia, too.