Varietal mutants can be useful for developing durable resistance, understanding categories of resistance, and identifying candidate genes involved in defense responses. We used mutants of rice ‘IR64’ to isolate new sources of resistance to the planthopper Nilaparvata lugens (Stål) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). We compared two mutants that showed a gain and loss of resistance to N. lugens, to determine the categories of resistance to this pest. Under choice tests, female planthoppers avoided settling and laid fewer eggs on the resistant mutant ‘D518’ than on the susceptible mutant D1131, susceptible check ‘TN1’, and wild-type IR64, indicating that antixenosis was the resistance category. Similarly, under no-choice conditions, planthoppers laid 29% fewer eggs in D518 than in IR64, but they oviposited more in ‘D1131’ and TN1. Honeydew excretion was greater on D1131 seedlings but slightly lower on D518 than on IR64. Nymphal survival and adult female weight did not differ among rice cultivars. D518 showed higher tolerance of N. lugens infestations than IR64. Genetic analysis of the F1, F2, and F3 populations derived from D518 × IR64 revealed that resistance in D518 is dominant and controlled by a single gene. Despite the variation in resistance to N. lugens, both mutants and IR64 performed similarly in the field. The mutant D518 is a new source of durable resistance to N. lugens, mainly due to enhanced antixenosis to female hoppers for settling and oviposition.