The response of one susceptible and three resistant Brachiaria spp. (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) genotypes to individual or combined attacks by nymphs of Aeneolamia varia (F.), Aeneolamia reducta (Lallemand), Zulia carbonaria (Lallemand), and Zulia pubescens
(F.) was studied. We assessed the effect of infesting plants of the susceptible check BRX 44–02 and of the A. varia-resistant genotypes CIAT 6294 and CIAT 36062 with A. varia, Z. carbonaria, or Z. pubescens either alone or in two-species combinations. In a
second trial, we studied the performance of BRX 44-02, CIAT 6294, and the multiple resistant clone SX01NO/0102 exposed to individual or combined attack by A. reducta and Z. carbonaria. In a third trial, we compared the response of BRX 44-02, CIAT 6294, and CIAT 36062 to individual
A. varia, Z. carbonaria, or Z. pubescens attack as opposed to a combined three-species attack. Plant damage scores and percentage of nymphal survival were recorded in all three trials. Data on percentage of survival indicated that competition between and among spittlebug
species occurs. However, we found no evidence of interaction between species competition and different levels of resistance to spittlebug. Rather, host genotype reactions conformed to previously known categories of resistance regardless of the presence of more than one spittlebug species.
Resistance rather than competition seems to have been the overriding factor determining nymph survival and resistance expression (damage scores) in these experiments. Our results corroborate the need to develop brachiariagrass genotypes with multiple resistance to spittlebugs.
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