Survey of potential sharpshooter and spittlebug vectors of Xylella fastidiosa to grapevines at the Sao Francisco River Valley, Brazil
Survey of potential sharpshooter and spittlebug vectors of Xylella fastidiosa to grapevines at the Sao Francisco River Valley, Brazil. Pierce's disease of grapevines, caused by Xylella fastidiosa, is a serious problem in some regions of North America, not yet reported in Brazil. In this study, a survey of potential sharpshooter (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, Cicadellinae) and spittlebug (Hemiptera, Cercopidae) vectors of X. fastidiosa was conducted in vineyards at the Sao Francisco River Valley, a major grape growing region in Brazil. Four vineyards of Vitis vinifera L. were sampled fortnightly from June/2005 to June/2007, using yellow sticky cards, each placed at two different heights (45 cm aboveground and 45 cm above the crop canopy) in 10 sampling localities. A total of 4,095 specimens of sharpshooters were collected, nearly all from 3 Proconiini species, Homalodisca spottii Takiya, Cavichioli & McKamey, 2006 (96.8% of the specimens), Tapajosa fulvopunctata (Signoret, 1854) (3.1%), and Tretogonia cribrata Melichar, 1926 (1 specimen). Hortensia similis (Walker, 1851) (2 specimens) was the only Cicadellini species. Only 1 cercopid specimen, belonging to Aeneolamia colon (Germar, 1821), was trapped. Even though they are not considered potential Xylella vectors, 2 Gyponini leafhoppers were collected: Curtara samera DeLong & Freytag, 1972 (11 specimens) and Curtara inflata DeLong & Freytag, 1976 (1 specimen). Homalodisca spottii was observed feeding and mating on green branches of grapevines, in addition to egg masses. Because of its prevalence on the crop canopy, occurrence throughout the year (with peaks from February to August), and ability to colonize grapevines, H. spottii could be an important vector if a X. fastidiosa strain pathogenic to grapevines becomes introduced at the Sao Francisco River Valley.