Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)
The glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) feeds on xylem fluid and is damaging to crops and ornamentals through the transmission of Xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium that causes phony peach disease, Pierce’s disease in grapes, and leaf scorch in almond, plum, elm and oak. In Brazil, a strain of X. fastidiosa causes citrus variegated chlorosis, but the current geographic range of the strain does not overlap that of H. vitripennis. Homalodisca vitripennis is native to the southeastern United States, and in the late 1980s or early 1990s spread from Texas to southern California, where Pierce’s disease caused $30 million in damage to California vineyards from 1994 to 2000. In California, H. vitripennisis a more important vector than the native species because it spreads the disease further into vineyards from surrounding vegetation. Furthermore, in the southeastern United States only muscadine grapes are grown successfully, because only the muscadine varieties are...
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