Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2003
Publication Date: May 6, 2003
Citation: Meagher Jr, R.L., Legaspi, J.C. 2003. Within-field distribution of three homopttteran species in Texas sugarcane. Southwestern Entomologist. 28(1):1-10. Interpretive Summary: Sugarcane, a multimillion dollar crop, is grown commercially in four US states, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Texas. It is grown on large acreages of land and is a complex agroecosystem composed of many above- and below-ground insect pests. One group of above-ground pests are the auchenorrhyncha homopterans, which include leafhoppers and planthoppers. These insects, when present in large numbers, can be pests because they ca stunt the growth of young sugarcane plants and transmit plant diseases. Scientists currently located at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, and the Center for Biological Control, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, were developing appropriate sampling techniques for several important pests. In this report, sugarcane fields were sampled for homopteran species to describe the location of the insects within the fields. Other objectives were to determine the importance of sugarcane cultivar and time of season on sampling, and to develop sampling plans for estimating population densities. Results showed that three species were most common and that two of these species were sugarcane specialists. Sampling statistics were calculated and sampling plans for these important species were developed.
Technical Abstract: Sugarcane fields composed of either 'CP 70-321' or 'NCo 310' were sampled during 1993 and 1994 for three species of homopteran insects. Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westwood) (Delphacidae) was the most abundant species with densities reaching 23.7 per shoot early in the season. Both Draeculacephala portola Ball (Cicadellidae) and the sugarcane delphacid, Perkinsiella saccharicida Kirkaldy (Delphacidae), were found in low number (< 1.0 per shoot). P. saccharicida reached its highest levels later in the season. Aggregation, as measured using Taylor a and b coefficients was shown to be greater with S. saccharivora than the other species.