The leafhopper Sophonia orientalis (Matsumura) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) is native to Asia, but it has been recently introduced to the Hawaii Archipelago, CA and French Polynesia. Although this extremely polyphagous species is considered to be a threat to all native plants of Hawaii and to many economically important cropping cultures, its taxonomy remains obscure. Most literature referred to this species as Sophonia rufofascia (Kuoh & Kuoh), but recently it has been shown that previous records of this species correspond to S. orientalis. In this study, S. orientalis is recorded from northeastern Atlantic archipelagos of Madeira and Canaries, with the first collection made in 2000 representing the first record of this species for Macaronesia. Diagnosis of the species together with information on the karyotype and structure of testes and ovaries is given. The number of chromosomes is 2n = 16 X0 (males) and 2n = 16 XX (females), and each testis and ovary is composed of six follicles and six ovarioles, respectively. In Madeira, S. orientalis was found on 28 plant species, including native and endemic plants, but it also was associated with important crops such as vineyards. The presence of adults and nymphs during most of the year suggests that this species has several annual generations. Owing to the suitable climate and the presence of a great number of host plants, its potential for detrimental effects to Madeira ecosystems is considered to be great, and the proximity of Madeira and Canary Islands to the European land mass suggests that this pest may spread.
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Vol. 100 • No. 1