The Potato Leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) Exhibits Different Settling Distributions on Alfalfa and Broad Bean

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The settling behavior of the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris), was studied on broad bean, Vicia faba L., and on alfalfa, Medicago sativa L. When caged on broad bean, potato leafhoppers were evenly distributed between stems and abaxial surfaces of leaves. Use of abaxial leaf surfaces was very similar to what was expected based upon the relative availability of leaf surface area. In contrast, use of stems was much greater than their relative availability, suggesting a preference for settling on this site. Leafhoppers caged on alfalfa also preferred stems, but avoided abaxial leaves. However, we could not relate severity of damage symptoms to the proportion of time spent settled on alfalfa stems or leaves. These results show that the leafhoppers exhibited different settling behavior on the two hosts, and thus, the variability in feeding behavior reported in other studies extends also to settling behavior.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1990

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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