Seasonal flight activity of two Homalodisca species (Homoptera : Cicadellidae) that spread Xylella fastidiosa in southern California
Homalodisca coagulata (Say) and Homalodisca lacerta (Fowler) are vectors of a new bacterial disease of oleander in California known as oleander leaf scorch, induced by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. H. coagulata also has been implicated in the spread of the strain of X. fastidiosa that induces Pierce's disease of grapevines in California. We monitored the flight activity of H. coagulata and H. lacerta in oleander and citrus by using yellow sticky cards at three southern California locations where outbreaks of oleander leaf scorch have been documented, and where vector compliments are different. Areas sampled included a mesic coastal area (Irvine, CA) that supports predominantly H. coagulata and few H. lacerta, a dry inland location (Palm Desert, CA) that supports predominantly H. lacerta and few H. coagulata, and an intermediate area (Riverside, CA) supporting both Homalodisca species. From November 1996 to October 1999 peak catches of both Homalodisca species occurred during the midsummer at all locations. H. coagulata was trapped in greater numbers in citrus than in oleander at both the Riverside and the Irvine sites. Likewise, H. lacerta in Riverside was more associated with citrus than oleander, yet H. lacerta in Palm Desert was trapped in greater numbers in oleander than citrus.